IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/deveco/v112y2015icp72-91.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Water scarcity and birth outcomes in the Brazilian semiarid

Author

Listed:
  • Rocha, Rudi
  • Soares, Rodrigo R.

Abstract

Roughly one-third of the rural population in developing countries lives in arid and semiarid regions, facing recurrent water scarcity. This is likely to become an even more common situation with climate change. This paper analyzes the impact of rainfall fluctuations during the gestational period on health at birth in the Brazilian semiarid, highlighting the role of water scarcity as a determinant of early life health. We find that negative rainfall shocks are robustly correlated with higher infant mortality, lower birth weight, and shorter gestation periods. Mortality effects are concentrated on intestinal infections and malnutrition, and are greatly minimized when the local public health infrastructure is sufficiently developed (municipality coverage of piped water and sanitation). We also find that effects are stronger during the fetal period (2nd trimester of gestation), for children born during the dry season, and for mortality immediately after birth. Our estimates suggest that expansions in public health infrastructure would be a cost-effective way of reducing the response of infant mortality to rainfall scarcity.

Suggested Citation

  • Rocha, Rudi & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2015. "Water scarcity and birth outcomes in the Brazilian semiarid," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 72-91.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:112:y:2015:i:c:p:72-91
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2014.10.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304387814001096
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gørgens, Tue & Meng, Xin & Vaithianathan, Rhema, 2012. "Stunting and selection effects of famine: A case study of the Great Chinese Famine," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 99-111.
    2. Carlos Bozzoli & Angus Deaton & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2009. "Adult height and childhood disease," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(4), pages 647-669, November.
    3. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Vinha, Katja & Conroy, Hector V., 2011. "The impacts of climate variability on welfare in rural Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5555, The World Bank.
    4. Olivier Deschênes & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Extreme Weather Events, Mortality, and Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 659-681, November.
    5. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    6. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
    7. Sharon Maccini & Dean Yang, 2009. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1006-1026, June.
    8. Janet Currie, 2009. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 87-122, March.
    9. Olivier Deschenes & Michael Greenstone & Jonathan Guryan, 2009. "Climate Change and Birth Weight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 211-217, May.
    10. Glewwe, Paul & Miguel, Edward A., 2008. "The Impact of Child Health and Nutrition on Education in Less Developed Countries," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    11. Kudamatsu, Masayuki & Persson, Torsten & Strömberg, David, 2012. "Weather and Infant Mortality in Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 9222, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Norbert Schady, 2015. "Does Access to Better Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Improve Child Outcomes? Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 92337, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Dolores de la Mata & Mauricio G. Valencia-Amaya, 2014. "The Health Impacts of Severe Climate Shocks in Colombia," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 85896, Inter-American Development Bank.
    3. Foureaux Koppensteiner, Martin & Manacorda, Marco, 2016. "Violence and birth outcomes: Evidence from homicides in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 16-33.
    4. Krueger, Erik S. & Yimam, Yohannes Tadesse & Ochsner, Tyson E., 2017. "Human factors were dominant drivers of record low streamflow to a surface water irrigation district in the US southern Great Plains," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 93-104.
    5. Molina, Oswaldo & Saldarriaga, Victor, 2017. "The perils of climate change: In utero exposure to temperature variability and birth outcomes in the Andean region," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 111-124.
    6. Bermudez, Bladimir Carrillo & Santos Branco, Danyelle Karine & Trujillo, Juan Carlos & de Lima, Joao Eustaquio, 2015. "Deforestation and Infant Health: Evidence from an Environmental Conservation Policy in Brazil," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 229064, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Bladimir Carrillo Bermudez & João Eustáquio De Lima & Juan C. Trujillo, 2016. "Weather Fluctuations, Early-Life Conditions, And Parental Investments: Evidence From Colombia," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 140, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    8. Norbert Schady, 2015. "Does Access to Better Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Improve Child Outcomes? Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 7369, Inter-American Development Bank.
    9. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2017. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," NBER Working Papers 23017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Dolores de la Mata & Mauricio G. Valencia-Amaya, 2014. "The Health Impacts of Severe Climate Shocks in Colombia," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6570, Inter-American Development Bank.
    11. Lichand, Guilherme & Mani, Anandi, 2016. "Cognitive Droughts," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 298, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    12. Andalón, Mabel & Azevedo, João Pedro & Rodríguez-Castelán, Carlos & Sanfelice, Viviane & Valderrama-González, Daniel, 2016. "Weather Shocks and Health at Birth in Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 69-82.
    13. Lovo, Stefania & Veronesi, Marcella, 2014. "Crop Diversification and Child Health: Empirical Evidence From Tanzania," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182735, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    14. Santosh Kumar & Ramona Molitor & Sebastian Vollmer, 2014. "Children of Drought: Rainfall Shocks and Early Child Health in Rural India," Working Papers 1407, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
    15. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:350-376 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Marco Manacorda & Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner, 2013. "The Effect of Violence on Birth Outcomes: Evidence from Homicides in Rural Brazil," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4613, Inter-American Development Bank.
    17. Groppo, Valeria & Kraehnert, Kati, 2016. "Extreme Weather Events and Child Height: Evidence from Mongolia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 59-78.
    18. Olukorede Abiona & Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner, 2016. "The Impact of Household Shocks on Domestic Violence: Evidence from Tanzania," Discussion Papers in Economics 16/14, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    19. repec:bla:rdevec:v:21:y:2017:i:4:p:1229-1254 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Water; Rainfall; Health; Birth; Infant mortality; Sanitation; Semiarid; Brazil;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:112:y:2015:i:c:p:72-91. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.