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Cyclicality, Mortality, and the Value of Time: The Case of Coffee Price Fluctuations and Child Survival in Colombia

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  • Grant Miller
  • B. Piedad Urdinola
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    Abstract

    Recent studies demonstrate procyclical mortality in wealthy countries, but there are reasons to expect a countercyclical relationship in developing nations. We investigate how child survival in Colombia responds to fluctuations in world arabica coffee prices and document starkly procyclical child deaths. In studying this result's behavioral underpinnings, we highlight that (1) the leading determinants of child health are inexpensive but require considerable time, and (2) as the value of time declines with falling coffee prices, so does the relative price of health. We find a variety of direct evidence consistent with the primacy of time in child health production. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 118 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (02)
    Pages: 113-155

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:118:y:2010:i:1:p:113-155

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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    Cited by:
    1. Denis Cogneau & R�mi Jedwab, 2012. "Commodity Price Shocks and Child Outcomes: The 1990 Cocoa Crisis in Côte d’Ivoire," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(3), pages 507 - 534.
    2. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras, 2014. "Health and the Political Agency of Women," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 164-97, May.
    3. Yannick Le Pen & Benoît Sévi, 2013. "Futures Trading and the Excess Comovement of Commodity Prices," AMSE Working Papers 1301, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised Jan 2013.
    4. Ainhoa Aparicio & Libertad González Luna, 2013. "Newborn health and the business cycle: Is it good to be born in bad times?," Economics Working Papers 1374, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2014.
    5. Thuan Q. Thai & Mikko Myrskylä, 2012. "Rainfall shocks, parental behavior and breastfeeding: evidence from rural Vietnam," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2012-009, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Brückner, Markus & Schwandt, Hannes, 2013. "Income and Population Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 7422, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. David Harvey & Neil Kellard & Jakob Madsen & Mark Wohar, 2012. "Trends and Cycles in Real Commodity Prices: 1650-2010," CEH Discussion Papers 010, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    8. Burlando, Alfredo, 2014. "Transitory shocks and birth weights: Evidence from a blackout in Zanzibar," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 154-168.
    9. Lindo, Jason M., 2013. "Aggregation and the Estimated Effects of Local Economic Conditions on Health," IZA Discussion Papers 7396, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Granados, Claudia & Sánchez, Fabio, 2014. "Water Reforms, Decentralization and Child Mortality in Colombia, 1990–2005," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 68-79.

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