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Seasonal Effects of Water Quality on Infant and Child Health in India

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Author Info

  • Brainerd, Elizabeth

    ()
    (Brandeis University)

  • Menon, Nidhiya

    ()
    (Brandeis University)

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of fertilizer agrichemicals in water on infant and child health using data on water quality combined with data on the health outcomes of infants and children from the 1992-93, 1998-99, and 2005-06 Demographic and Health Surveys of India. Because fertilizers are applied at specific times in the growing season, the concentrations of agrichemicals in water vary seasonally and by cropped area as some Indian states plant predominantly summer crops while others plant winter crops. Our identification strategy exploits the differing timing of the planting seasons across regions and differing seasonal prenatal exposure to agrichemicals to identify the impact of agrichemical contamination on various measures of child health. The results indicate that children exposed to higher concentrations of agrichemicals during their first month experience worse health outcomes on a variety of measures (infant mortality, neo-natal mortality, height-for-age z scores and weight-for-age z-scores). Disaggregated runs reveal that effects are largest amongst the most vulnerable groups – children of uneducated poor women living in rural India.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6559.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Development Economics, 2014, 107, 49-64.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6559

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Keywords: child health; water pollutants; fertilizer agrichemicals; infant mortality; India; fertilizers;

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References

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  1. Janet Currie & W. Reed Walker, 2009. "Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass," NBER Working Papers 15413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Nicholas J. Sanders & Charles F. Stoecker, 2011. "Where Have All the Young Men Gone? Using Gender Ratios to Measure Fetal Death Rates," NBER Working Papers 17434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Greenstone, Michael & Hanna, Rema, 2011. "Environmental Regulations, Air and Water Pollution, and Infant Mortality in India," Working Paper Series rwp11-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Mårten Palme, 2007. "Chernobyl's Subclinical Legacy: Prenatal Exposure to Radioactive Fallout and School Outcomes in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 13347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Zhang, Jing, 2012. "The impact of water quality on health: Evidence from the drinking water infrastructure program in rural China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 122-134.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
  7. Avraham Ebenstein, 2012. "The Consequences of Industrialization: Evidence from Water Pollution and Digestive Cancers in China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 186-201, February.
  8. Avraham Ebenstein & Jian Zhang & Margaret S. McMillan & Kevin Chen, 2011. "Chemical Fertilizer and Migration in China," NBER Working Papers 17245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Hill, Elaine L., 2012. "Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Infant Health: Evidence from Pennsylvania," Working Papers 128815, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  2. Janet Currie & Tom Vogl, 2012. "Early-Life Health and Adult Circumstance in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 18371, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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