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In the News

Fatal effects of waste dumping in Ethiopia

Geoff Riley

3rd April 2018

Living near newly built roads in Ethiopia is associated with higher rates of infant mortality, according to research by Caterina Gennaioli, to be presented at the Royal Economic Society's annual conference at the University of Sussex in Brighton in March 2018.

The study finds that an additional road built within five kilometres increases the probability that a mother experiences an infant death by three percentage points. This implies that the average mother sees the probability of experiencing an infant death to increase from 8.5% to 11%, when a new road segment is built nearby. 

What’s more, children under the age of five living near a recently built road have a lower level of haemoglobin in the blood and are more likely to suffer from severe anaemia. These findings seem to be explained by the presence of toxic waste dumped illegally during the road construction phase.

The results suggest that infrastructure development, particularly road constructions, should be accompanied by actions aimed at preventing illegal toxic waste disposal, especially in regions with weak institutions and a strategic geographical position.

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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