The Urban Health Transition Hypothesis: Empirical Evidence of an Avian Influenza Kuznets Curve in Vietnam?
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The literature on development has focused on the concept of transition in understanding the emergent challenges facing poor but rapidly developing countries. Scholars have focused extensively on the health and urban transitions associated with this change and, in particular, its use for understanding emerging infectious diseases. However, few have developed explicit empirical measures to quantify the extent to which a transitions focus is useful for theory, policy, and practice. Using open source data on avian influenza in 2004 and 2005 and the Vietnam Census of Population and Housing, this paper introduces the Kuznets curve as a tool for empirically estimating transition and disease. Findings suggest that the Kuznets curve is a viable tool for empirically assessing the role of transitional dynamics in the emergence of new infectious diseases.
KeywordsAvian influenza Vietnam Emerging infectious disease Urban transition Health transition
The author would like to thank the East West Center’s Research Program, in particular John Vogler and Nancy Lewis, and ISCA Technologies for assistance in assembling the data. The research is associated with National Science Foundation Award #0909410. All factual and analytic errors, of course, are the author’s own.
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