Average income per capita, health outcomes, and the allocation of development assistance for health

Large multilateral organisations like WHO and the UN rely heavily on average income data in determining eligibility for, and the allocation of, development assistance for health. This column tests this paradigm by analysing the determinants of health outcomes for 99 countries. A country’s epidemiological surroundings, poverty gap, and institutional capacity appear to be much better predictors of health outcomes than gross national income. These findings suggest alternative metrics that could be leveraged in allocating development assistance for health.

See my VoxEU blog here, and full paper here – together with Olivier Sterck, Max Roser, and Mthuli Ncube.