Thursday, February 12, 2009

How Will the Economic Downturn Affect Africa? Part Deux

Maybe a lot worse than I first thought. From (EN)Africa, a blog maintained by Shanta Devarajan, the Chief Economist of the Africa Region at the World Bank:
The U.S. sub-prime crisis triggered a financial market meltdown which, in turn, has led to a global recession. These developments are already having a significant, negative effect on African economic growth (the latest World Economic Outlook projects Africa’s growth rate in 2009 at 3.5 percent, down from 5.4 percent in 2008.) Drawing on the work of Jorge Arbache and John Page, I did the following calculation: If Africa experiences a growth deceleration that is typical of the average deceleration of the past, the infant mortality rate will rise by about 28 per thousand (see Table). Given that there are 28 million births a year in Africa, this translates to over 700,000 additional babies dying before their first birthday.

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