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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Can the World's Poor Protect Themselves from the New Coronavirus?

Caitlin S. Brown, Martin Ravallion, Dominique van de Walle

NBER Working Paper No. 27200
Issued in May 2020
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Health Care

We propose an index of the adequacy of home environments for protection (HEP) from COVID-19, and we compare our index across developing countries using data for one million sampled households from the latest Demographic and Health Surveys. We find that prevailing WHO recommendations for protection posit unrealistic home environments. 90% of households have inadequate HEP by one or more dimensions considered. 40% do not have a formal health-care facility within 5km. A strong wealth effect is indicated within and between countries. Only 6% of the poorest 40% have an adequate HEP, and the proportion is virtually zero in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27200

 
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