San Francisco, California
Institutional Affiliation: Protagonist Technology
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2018||Mortality from Nestlé’s Marketing of Infant Formula in Low and Middle-Income Countries|
with Jesse K. Anttila-Hughes, Lia C.H. Fernald, Paul J. Gertler, Bruce Wydick: w24452
Intensive and controversial marketing of infant formula is believed to be responsible for millions of infant deaths in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), yet to date there have been no rigorous analyses that quantify these effects. To estimate the impact of infant formula on infant mortality, we pair country-specific data from the annual corporate reports of Nestlé, the largest producer of infant formula, with a sample of 2.48 million births in 46 LMICs from 1970-2011. Our key finding is that the availability of formula increased infant mortality by 9.4 per 1000 births, 95%CI [3.6, 15.6] among mothers without access to clean water, suggesting that unclean water acted as a vector for the transmission of water-borne pathogens to infants. We estimate that the availability of formula ...