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The perils of climate change: In utero exposure to temperature variability and birth outcomes in the Andean region

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  • Molina, Oswaldo
  • Saldarriaga, Victor

Abstract

The discussion on the effects of climate change on human activity has primarily focused on how increasing temperature levels can impair human health. However, less attention has been paid to the effect of increased climate variability on health. We investigate how in utero exposure to temperature variability, measured as the fluctuations relative to the historical local temperature mean, affects birth outcomes in the Andean region. Our results suggest that exposure to a temperate one standard deviation relative to the municipality’s long-term temperature mean during pregnancy reduces birth weight by 20g. and increases the probability a child is born with low birth weight by a 0.7 percentage point. We also explore potential channels driving our results and find some evidence that increased temperature variability can lead to a decrease in health care and increased food insecurity during pregnancy.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:24:y:2017:i:c:p:111-124
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2016.11.009
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    Cited by:

    1. Manuel Barron, 2018. "In-utero weather shocks and learning outcomes," Working Papers 137, Peruvian Economic Association.
    2. Molina, Oswaldo & Saldarriaga, Victor, 2018. "Child Exposure to Climate Change: A Regional Index of Vulnerability for Better-Targeted Policies," MPRA Paper 85073, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Hamid Reza Oskorouchi, 2019. "Learning to Fight: Afghan Child Health and In‐utero Exposure to Conflict," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 45(2), pages 275-300, June.
    4. Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude & Yuksel, Mutlu, 2017. "Heterogeneity in the long term health effects of warfare," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 27(PA), pages 126-136.
    5. Bratti, Massimiliano & Frimpong, Prince Boakye & Russo, Simone, 2021. "Prenatal Exposure to Heat Waves and Child Health in Sub-saharan Africa," IZA Discussion Papers 14424, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Fishman, Ram & Carrillo, Paul & Russ, Jason, 2019. "Long-term impacts of exposure to high temperatures on human capital and economic productivity," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 221-238.
    7. Thiede, Brian C. & Gray, Clark, 2020. "Climate exposures and child undernutrition: Evidence from Indonesia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 265(C).
    8. Injete Amondo, Emily & Mirzabaev, Alisher & Nshakira-Rukundo, Emmanuel, 2021. "Effect of extreme weather events on child health in rural Uganda," Discussion Papers 311135, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    9. Manuel Barron & Sam Heft-Neal & Tania Perez, 2018. "Long-term effects of weather during gestation on education and labor outcomes: Evidence from Peru," Working Papers 134, Peruvian Economic Association.
    10. Fredah Guantai & Yoko Kijima, 2020. "Ethnic Violence and Birth Outcomes: Evidence From Exposure to the 1992 Conflict in Kenya," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(2), pages 423-444, April.
    11. Jenna Nobles & Amar Hamoudi, 2019. "Detecting the Effects of Early-Life Exposures: Why Fecundity Matters," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 38(6), pages 783-809, December.
    12. Tamás Hajdu & Gábor Hajdu, 2020. "Temperature, climate change and birth weight: Evidence from Hungary," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 2032, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    13. Otrachshenko, Vladimir & Popova, Olga & Solomin, Pavel, 2018. "Misfortunes never come singly: Consecutive weather shocks and mortality in Russia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 249-258.
    14. Trommlerová, Sofia K., 2020. "When children have children: The effects of child marriages and teenage pregnancies on early childhood mortality in Bangladesh," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    15. Nobles, Jenna & Hamoudi, Amar, 2019. "Detecting the Effects of Early-Life Exposures: Why Fecundity Matters," SocArXiv x4zm6, Center for Open Science.
    16. Beuermann, Diether W. & Pecha, Camilo J., 2020. "The effects of weather shocks on early childhood development: Evidence from 25 years of tropical storms in Jamaica," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C).
    17. Banerjee, Rakesh & Maharaj, Riddhi, 2020. "Heat, infant mortality, and adaptation: Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate change; Temperature variability; Birth weight; Health;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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