Academic journal article Pakistan Economic and Social Review

Determinants of Social Progress and Its Scenarios under the Role of Macroeconomic Instability: Empirics from Pakistan

Academic journal article Pakistan Economic and Social Review

Determinants of Social Progress and Its Scenarios under the Role of Macroeconomic Instability: Empirics from Pakistan

Article excerpt

Byline: AMJAD ALI AND CHAN BIBI

Keywords: Social progress, Macroeconomic instability, Pakistan

I. INTRODUCTION

Societal progress/development is the central focus of traditional development economics but that social progress is only concerned with how much command a nation/person has on commodities and resources (Anand and Ravallion, 1993). The modern developmental economists disagree with this view point, as Sen (1983) mentions that the amount of goods is not social development, social development concerns with the capabilities to reduce mortality, morbidity and hunger. Death is unavoidable reality for every living being, but instead of developing countries the developed countries have postponed death for longer time period. Empirics show that although overall life expectancy in developing nations has increased but under-five mortality rate is still very high (Cleland and Farooqui, 1998). Infant and under-five survival rate are considered most important indicators for social development and social progress.

In millennium development goals of 189 countries, United Nations have focused on some main social indicators such as poverty reduction, enhancing the level of education, improving maternal health and reducing child mortality. Guillaumont (2009) mentions that under-five survival rate is the best indicator to overview the social progress of a country in first sight. Now there is vast body of literature is available which considered that high infant and under-five mortality rate is a sign of low social progress and this problem is mainly facing by developing countries of the world. Although this accomplishment is medical oriented but the conclusions of many studies show that there is strong relationship between macroeconomic environment and under-five mortality rate [Preston (1975), Shkolnikov et. al, (1998), Cornia and Paniccia (2000), Gakusi et. al, (2005)].

There is dire need about the precise identification of those channels through which macroeconomic environment impacts infant and under-five morality. There are four channels through which macroeconomic environment of country affects infant and under-five mortality. First, there is positive and direct relationship between national income and child survival. Anand and Revallion (1993) mention that the developed countries have more resources for investment in health sector and this improved health sector have more opportunities for protecting child. Second, there is direct and positive relationship between economic growth and provision of better social services. Economic growth work as driving force behind economic development as economy grows urbanization and industrialization improve the living standard through easy access to medical cares and nutritional foods which decrease the infant and under-five mortality.

Mosley and Chen (1984) explain that economic growth enhances provision of some basic social services such as health cares, sanitation, clean drinking water and epidemiological protection which further lower the mortality and higher the life expectancy. Third, economic growth reduces the poverty level, in this way basic necessities of life are easily accessible to general public like food, health cares and education. So, stable macroeconomic environment reduces infant and under-five mortality with the help of proper and improved provision of social services. Baird et al., (2011) conclude that income instability has direct impact on consumption pattern of households, as in highly instable economy when households have less amount of money for private consumption then they spend less on nutritional foods, infant health inputs and health cares of child when it got ill. Forth, maternal education and female labor force participation also reduce the infant and under-five mortality.

Hojman (1994) argues that on one side maternal education put direct negative impact on mortality as educated female are more concern about the health cares and nutritional foods. …

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