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Impact of Rainfall Shocks on Child Health: Evidence from India

Vibhuti Mendiratta

PSE Working Papers from HAL

Abstract: While there is evidence of discrimination against girls in the allocation of resources within a household under normal circumstances, it would be worthwhile to explore the effect of extreme conditions such as rainfall shocks on the outcomes of surviving girls and boys. In this paper, I estimate the impact of rainfall shocks in early childhood on the anthropometric outcomes of girls and boys aged 13-36 months in rural India. I find that adverse negative rainfall shocks (in utero and first year after birth) negatively impact height for age and weight for age for both girls and boys. Further, I explore two channels through which rainfall affects child health: by affecting the relative price of parent's time in childcare and through income (as rainfall generates variation in income through its effect on agricultural output). I find that positive rainfall has a positive effect on agricultural yield and arguably income in India. This is further supported by the finding that negative shocks are harder to insure in poorer states and poorer households as reflected by the poor anthropometric outcomes of children.

Keywords: Anthropometric outcomes; Rainfall; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-hea
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