Impact of sanitation, safe drinking water and health expenditure on infant mortality rate in developing economies

Zhou Lu, Jayatilleke S. Bandara, Sudharshan Reddy Paramati (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
320 Downloads (Pure)


Despite of significant growth in all walks of life, the issue of infant mortality still a major concern in most of the developing economies. The World Development Indicators have reported that 4.45 million infants died across the globe in 2015, meaning that 32 deaths per every 1,000 live births. A number of times, the World Health Organization (WHO) have stressed the significance of sanitation, safe drinking water and healthcare facilities in reducing infant mortality rate, though most developing countries still lacks in these services. Given this background, the present study aims to examine the role of sanitation, water facilities and health expenditure on infant mortality rate across a panel of 84 developing economies using annual data from 1995 to 2013. The study also account for per capita income and depth of food deficiency as the control factors in the model. The findings of this study establish a significant long‐run equilibrium association among the variables. The long‐run elasticities on infant mortality suggest that improved water and sanitation facilities, health expenditure and per capita income substantially reduce infant mortality rate, while food deficiency increases. Given these findings, we suggest that increasing access to improved water, sanitation and healthcare facilities will significantly reduce child mortality in developing economies around the world.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalAustralian Economic Papers
Issue number1
Early online date16 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • developing economies
  • drinking water
  • health expenditure
  • infant mortality rate
  • sanitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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