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Pieter Serneels to present paper at the University of Manchester



Pieter Serneels of the UEA School of International Development will be presenting at the University of Manchester's 'Joint Development Economics Seminar Series'.

On Tuesday 11th February 2014, Pieter will present the paper - Health information, treatment, and worker productivity: Experimental evidence from malaria testing and treatment among Nigerian sugarcane cutters


Agricultural and other physically demanding sectors are important sources of growth in developing countries. Prevalent diseases such as malaria can adversely impact the productivity and labor supply of workers in these sectors; however the measurement of such disease impact is confounded by the simultaneous determination of health and labor decisions. This study identifies the impact of malaria on worker earnings, labor supply, and productivity by randomizing the temporal order at which workers are offered malaria testing and treatment by a mobile health facility at a large sugarcane plantation in Nigeria. The results indicate a significant and substantial intent to treat effect of the intervention - the offer of a workplace based malaria testing and treatment program increases worker earnings by approximately 10% over the weeks following the mobile clinic visit. For those who test positive for malaria, the treatment of illness increases both labor supply and earnings. For workers who test negative, the revealed information about their own good health also leads to increased earnings and productivity. Mechanisms for this response include selection into higher return occupations as a result of changes in the perceived cost of effort due to revised health expectations. The results underline the importance of both medical treatment and access to improved information about one’s health status, as the absence of either may lead workers to deliver lower than optimal effort levels.