Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



From Chronic Disease to Food Poverty: Evidence from Pakistan

While poverty and its causes have long been studied by economists, the link between chronic disease and food poverty has been a neglected area of research. This article investigates the impact of chronic disease on food poverty by using two rounds of panel data of Pakistan and linear probability regression framework. Chronic disease is defined to include diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, AIDS, cancer and asthma. The regression results show that on average the effect of chronic disease on food poverty is statistically equal to zero, but this effect significantly varies by income groups categorised by three non-income based classifications. We note that the incidence of chronic disease is significantly higher among non-poor when permanent income of the household is incorporated into the model, most notably among individuals coming from low- and middle-income backgrounds. Thus public health policies that seek awareness, prevention and treatment of chronic diseases have the potential to alleviate poverty in a high poverty environment.

Abid A. Burki

Mushtaq A. Khan

Sobia Malik