The impact of early life shocks on human capital formation: evidence from El Niño floods in Ecuador
Maria Rosales-Rueda ()
Journal of Health Economics, 2018, vol. 62, issue C, 13-44
This paper investigates the persistent effects of negative shocks in utero and in infancy on low-income children's health and cognitive outcomes and examines whether timing of exposure matters differentially by skill type. Specifically, I exploit the geographic intensity of extreme floods in Ecuador during the 1997–1998 El Niño phenomenon, which provides exogenous variation in exposure at different periods of early development. I show that children exposed to severe floods in utero, especially during the third trimester, are shorter in stature five and seven years later. Also, children affected by the floods in the first trimester of pregnancy score lower on cognitive tests. Additionally, I explore potential mechanisms by studying health at birth and family inputs (income, consumption, and breastfeeding). I find that children exposed to El Niño floods, especially during the third trimester in utero, were more likely to be born with low birth weight. Furthermore, households affected by El Niño suffered a decline in income, total consumption, and food consumption in the aftermath of the shock. Falsification exercises and robustness checks suggest that selection concerns such as selective fertility, mobility, and infant mortality do not drive these results.
Keywords: Early-life shocks; Human capital formation; Health at birth; Family inputs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 I14 I20 J13 O12 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (21) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:13-44
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire
More articles in Journal of Health Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().