A NEW study in the open access journal PLOS Biology, finds that vector-borne and parasitic diseases have substantial effects on economic development across the globe, and are major drivers of differences in income between tropical and temperate countries.
The burden of these diseases is, in turn, determined by underlying ecological factors. It is predicted to rise as biodiversity falls.
This has significant implications for the economics of health care policy in developing countries and advances our understanding of how ecological conditions can affect economic growth.
According to conventional economic wisdom, the foundation of economic growth is in political and economic institutions. “This is largely Cold War Economics about how to allocate property rights - with the government or with the private sector,” says Dr. Matthew Bonds, an economist at Harvard Medical School and the lead author of the new study.
However, Bonds and colleagues were interested instead in biological processes that transcend such institutions, and which might form a more fundamental economic foundation.