American Enterprise Institute’s Roger Bate directs us to an important new study by economists Ann Owen and Stephen Wu titled “Is Trade Good for Your Health?” Bate summarizes:
By analysing a variety of data from 219 countries over 35 years, they demonstrate that the citizens of economically freer nations are healthier than those where the economy is more tightly controlled. They conclude that openness to trade and higher volumes of trade are robustly associated with reductions in infant mortality and increases in life expectancy, particularly among males in developing nations. Interestingly, the effect is even more marked
for the poorest of the poor: a small opening up of trade in the poorest developing countries gives disproportionately larger health benefits to that country’s citizens, than to the citizens of richer nations. In terms of health, the worst off gain the most from more open trade.