Inadequate methods undermine a study of malaria, deforestation and trade

Kuschnig, Nikolas ORCID: (2021) Inadequate methods undermine a study of malaria, deforestation and trade. Nature Communications, 12 (1). ISSN 2041-1723

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In a recent study, Chaves et al. find international consumption and trade to be major drivers of ‘malaria risk’ via deforestation. Their analysis is based on a counterfactual ‘malaria risk’ footprint, defined as the number of malaria cases in absence of two malaria interventions, which is constructed using linear regression. In this letter, I argue that their study hinges on an obscured weighting scheme and suffers from methodological flaws, such as disregard for sources of bias. When addressed properly, these issues nullify results, overturning the significance and reversing the direction of the claimed relationship. Nonetheless, I see great potential in the mixed methods approach and conclude with recommendations for future studies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This work has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union`s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 725525).
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Ecological Economics
Departments > Volkswirtschaft > Makroökonomie
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2021 14:01
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2021 14:02
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