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Mozambique and natural disasters: human capital under threat

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  • Prado C. Alfaiate, Jorge
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    Abstract

    This paper assesses the effect of a sequence of natural disasters on children’s health that hit Mozambique at the start of the 21st Century. The disasters in question were the floods of 2000 and the droughts of the years 2002 and 2003. Height-for-age z-scores of children between 1 and 3 years old is used to capture the cumulative effects of this sequence of natural disasters. It was found that the effect of the disasters on these children’s height was, on average, -0.4236 standard deviations, which corresponds to the affected children being more than 1.5 cm shorter by the time of the survey. The findings in this paper are important because of the long term economic cost associated with the disasters, and urge the need for further public intervention to mitigate the damage caused by the shocks. This paper also contributes to the existing literature on the subject of the impact of shocks on child health in the developing world by focusing on measurement errors, differences in physical stature among ethnic groups and migratory movements.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 18189.

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    Date of creation: 25 Oct 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18189

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    Keywords: Mozambique; Health; Natural Disaster; Human Capital; Developing Country;

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    1. Richard Akresh & Philip Verwimp, 2006. "Civil War, Crop Failure, and the Health Status of Young Children," HiCN Working Papers 19, Households in Conflict Network.
    2. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2007. "Long-Term Effects Of The 1959-1961 China Famine: Mainland China and Hong Kong," NBER Working Papers 13384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ashenfelter, Orley & Card, David, 1985. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 648-60, November.
    4. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2004. "Long Term Consequences Of Early Childhood Malnutrition," HiCN Working Papers 09, Households in Conflict Network.
    5. Esther Duflo, 2003. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old-Age Pensions and Intrahousehold Allocation in South Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 1-25, June.
    6. Gerard J. van den Berg & Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait, 2006. "Economic Conditions Early in Life and Individual Mortality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 290-302, March.
    7. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Schady, Norbert, 2008. "Aggregate economic shocks, child schooling and child health," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 4701, The World Bank.
    8. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
    9. Sharon Maccini & Dean Yang, 2009. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1006-26, June.
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