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INCOME, INCOME DISTRIBUTION AND HEALTH OUTCOMES IN NIGERIA: Empirical Evidence From National Demographic and Health Surveys

INCOME, INCOME DISTRIBUTION AND HEALTH OUTCOMES IN NIGERIA: Empirical Evidence From National Demographic and Health Surveys

 

Abstract: Adopting a multilevel approach, this study examines the impact of income and income distribution on population health in Nigeria. Data from the National Demographic and Household Surveys (NDHS) (2008) are used for empirical analysis. The results show that absolute income has significant impact on population health in Nigeria and that population health measured by infant mortality rate, would improve by about 0.15 percent when absolute income increases by 1 percent, at 95 percent confidence interval. However, there are significant variations in the effects of absolute income after controlling for the measure to prevent malaria using insecticide-treated nets, percentage distribution of the population by type of toilet facility, percentage distribution by type of refuse disposal facility and access to healthcare facility in Nigeria. The results also show that relative income has no significant impact on population health. Also, the Gini coefficient and the Pietra inequality indices mimic each other for both absolute and relative incomes. The Gini coefficient expresses a near maximum inequality for population health due to absolute income, and a near perfect equality of population health due to relative income. This empirical evidence thus reveals that income distribution has significant impact on variations in health across states in Nigeria. The conclusion, therefore is that there is a need for sustained implementation of sound income and health policies in Nigeria in order to boost the nation’s development strides and processes.

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