Infant mortality and public health expenditure in Nigeria: empirical explanation of the nexus
This study employs Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) bounds testing approach to co-integration and Granger causality technique to empirically examines the nature of relationship between infant mortality and public expenditure on health in Nigeria from 1980 – 2016. In addition, the study considers the roles of immunization, private health expenditure and external health resources on infant mortality in Nigeria. Among other things, the empirical results indicate the presence of significant con-integrating (long-run) relationship between infant mortality and government health expenditure (and private health expenditure, immunization and external health resources), coupled with the existence of bi-directional causal relationship between infant mortality and government health expenditure. In addition, the results also demonstrate that, government health expenditure, private health expenditure, immunization, and external health resources significantly influence infant mortality negatively both in the long and short term. Although, private health spending is shown as the major determinant of the reduction of infant mortality rate in Nigeria, due to the size of the coefficient of private health expenditure. In essence, the total overhaul of the Nigerian health sector, so as to improve the efficiency of the sector, as well curb the incidents of fund mismanagement which has plagued the sector overtime, coupled with the intensifying of immunization programs and activities are however recommended.
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