In South Africa, Poor Health Can Kill Small Businesses

May 30th, 2007

Editors Desk

Eye on The Markets

by The Wharton School | 5.30.07

Health Economics

In South Africa, Poor Health Can Kill Small Businesses
According to estimates, micro and small businesses contribute almost 50% of South Africa’s total employment and 30% of its gross domestic product.
Until recently, however, the impact of poor health, and in particular HIV/AIDS, on these enterprises — ranging in size from single owner-workers to companies with 100 employees — has been largely overlooked by researchers. A new study by Li-Wen Chao from the University of Pennsylvania’s Population Studies Center, Mark V. Pauly, Wharton professor of health care systems, and others examines how owner health determines the fate of small businesses in South Africa, and impacts the larger economy.

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