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Heat Waves at Conception and Later Life Outcomes

Joshua Wilde (), Bénédicte Apouey and Toni Jung

No 514, Working Papers from University of South Florida, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper explores whether heat waves at conception, while in utero, or after birth cause better educational and health outcomes as adults. Using Census and DHS data from sub-Saharan Africa, we show that individuals conceived during heat waves have higher educational attainment and literacy, fewer disabilities, and lower child mortality. However, we find no effect of temperature at other times in utero. We then explore several channels through which this effect may occur, including heat-induced changes in sexual behavior, differences in parental characteristics, and intensified fetal selection. We show that fetal selection is the most likely mechanism driving our result.

Keywords: Temperature; Climate; Conception; Disability; Education; Fertility; Health; Human Capital; Literacy; Schooling; Sexual Activity; Spontaneous Abortion; Sub-Saharan Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 I15 J13 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 42 pages
Date: 2014-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem and nep-gro
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