Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

A Dam Problem: TVA's Fight Against Malaria, 1926–1951

  • Carl Kitchens (a1)

The TVA has been applauded for its anti-malaria programs in the Southeast during the 1930s and 1940s. However, the TVA developed their anti-malaria programs because they created lakes suitable for mosquito breeding. To estimate the relationship between the TVA and malaria, I construct a county-level panel data from the Southeast United States. I find that the net effect of the TVA was to increase malaria rates following its construction. Using statistical life value estimates, I find that the hidden malaria cost of the TVA offset 24 percent of the fiscal stimulus multiplier generated by the TVA.

Hide All

The author would like to the editor, Jean Laurent Rosenthal, for helpful comments as well as two anonymous referees for their feedback. I would also like to that my dissertation chair, Price Fishback for his guidance during this project. Additionally, I would like to thank Paul Rhode, Ron Oaxaca, Jonah Gelbach, Taylor Jaworski, Theresa Gutberlet, Briggs Depew, and Jonathan Fox for comments and feedback in various stages of this article, and seminar participants at the University of Tennessee, University of Arizona, University of California Merced, University of Michigan, United States Military Academy, University of Mississippi, as well as participants at the 2011 ASSA meetings, 2010 Economic History Association Meetings, and NBER DAE 2011.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Daron Acemoglu , and Simon Johnson . “Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth.” Journal of Political Economy 115, no. 6 (2007): 925–85.

Michael Aidoo , Dianne J. Terlouw , Margarette S. Kolczak , Peter D. McElroy , Feiko O. ter Kuile , Simon Kariuki , Bernard L. Nahlen , Altaf A. Lal , and Venkatachalam Udhayakumar . “Protective Effects of the Sickle Cell Gene Against Malaria Morbidity and Mortality.” The Lancet 359, no. 9314 (2002): 1311–12.

A. C. Allison The Distribution of the Sickle-Cell Trait in East Africa and Elsewhere, and Its Apparent Relationship to the Incidence of Subtertian Malaria.” Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 48, no. 4 (1954): 312–18.

Justin M. Andrews , Griffith E. Quinby , and Alexander D. Langmuir . “Malaria Eradication in the United States.” American Journal of Public Health and the Nation's Health 40, no. 11 (1950): 1405–11.

E. L. Bishop The TVA's New Deal in Health.” American Journal of Public Health and the Nation's Health 24, no. 10 (1934): 1023–27.

E. L. Bishop . “Malaria-Control Activities of the Tennessee Valley Authority.” Public Health Reports (1896–1970) (1936): 970–975.

Hoyt Bleakley . “Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 122, no. 1 (2007): 73117.

A. Colin Cameron , Jonah B. Gelbach , and Douglas L. Miller . “Robust Inference with Multiway Clustering.” Journal of Business & Economic Statistics 29, no. 2 (2011): 238–49.

Dora L. Costa , and Matthew E. Kahn . “Changes in the Value of Life, 1940–1980.” Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 29, no. 2 (2004): 159–80.

Esther Duflo , and Rohini Pande . “Dams.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 122, no. 2 (2007): 601–46.

Price V. Fishback , Michael R. Haines , and Shawn Kantor . “Births, Deaths, and New Deal Relief During the Great Depression.” The Review of Economics and Statistics 89, no. 1 (2007): 114.

Sok Chul Hong . “The Burden of Early Exposure to Malaria in the United States, 1850–1860: Malnutrition and Immune Disorders.” The Journal of Economic History 67, no. 4 (2007): 1001–35.

Uriel Kitron , and Andrew Spielman . “Suppression of Transmission of Malaria Through Source Reduction: Antianopheline Measures Applied in Israel, the United States, and Italy.” Review of Infectious Diseases 11, no. 3 (1989): 391406.

James LeSage , and Robert Kelley Pace . Introduction to Spatial Econometrics. Vol. 196. Boca Raton, FL: Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2009.

Patrick A. P. Moran “A Test for the Serial Independence of Residuals.” Biometrika (1950): 178–81.

Jeffrey Sachs , and Pia Malaney . “The Economic and Social Burden of Malaria.” Nature 415, no. 6872 (2002): 680–85.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Economic History
  • ISSN: 0022-0507
  • EISSN: 1471-6372
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-economic-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 46 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 157 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.