IZA DP No. 12683: Ecosystems and Human Health: The Local Benefits of Forest Cover in Indonesia
This paper documents the effect of primary forest cover loss on increased incidence of malaria. The evidence is consistent with an ecological response. I show that land use change, anti-malarial programs or migration cannot explain the effect of primary forest cover loss on increased malarial incidence. Falsification tests reveal that the effect is specific to malaria, with forest cover having no discernible effect on other diseases with a disease ecology different from that of malaria. Back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate that the morbidity-related malaria-reducing local benefits of primary forests are at least $1-$2 per hectare.