IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ehbiol/v36y2020ics1570677x19300619.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Growing in the womb: The effect of seismic activity on fetal growth

Author

Listed:
  • Álvarez-Aranda, Rocío
  • Chirkova, Serafima
  • Romero, José Gabriel

Abstract

We study whether exposure to earthquake affects health at birth. A mother-fixed-effect model together with the spatiotemporal variation of earthquakes in Chile allow us to better estimate the impacts on birth outcomes. Our findings show that exposure to earthquakes affects fetal growth. Infants born to mothers exposed to earthquakes in the second trimester are 1.8% more likely to be large for gestational age (LGA), which is a large effect from a baseline of 7% of LGA newborns. The reported impact varies across mothers’ socioeconomic status, with relatively poorer Chilean mothers being more vulnerable to earthquakes. A possible mechanism that explains these results could work through changes in the incidence of women with diabetes. We provide indirect evidence in this regard. Mothers with diabetes are more likely to have large-for-gestational-age babies. Exposure to earthquakes increases the incidence of diabetes among the affected population, with the observed impact on diabetes being relatively higher among women of lower socioeconomic status.

Suggested Citation

  • Álvarez-Aranda, Rocío & Chirkova, Serafima & Romero, José Gabriel, 2020. "Growing in the womb: The effect of seismic activity on fetal growth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 36(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:36:y:2020:i:c:s1570677x19300619
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2019.100815
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X19300619
    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. Currie, Janet & Rossin-Slater, Maya, 2013. "Weathering the storm: Hurricanes and birth outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 487-503.
    2. Quintana-Domeque, Climent & Ródenas-Serrano, Pedro, 2017. "The hidden costs of terrorism: The effects on health at birth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 47-60.
    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. Osea Giuntella & Giulia La Mattina & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2019. "Intergenerational Transmission of Health at Birth from Mothers and Fathers," Working Papers 2019-010, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    5. Aitor Calo-Blanco & Jaromír Kovářík & Friederike Mengel & José Gabriel Romero, 2017. "Natural disasters and indicators of social cohesion," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(6), pages 1-13, June.
    6. Kim, Bongkyun & Carruthers, Celeste K. & Harris, Matthew C., 2017. "Maternal stress and birth outcomes: Evidence from the 1994 Northridge earthquake," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 354-373.
    7. Romano, Joseph P. & Wolf, Michael, 2016. "Efficient computation of adjusted p-values for resampling-based stepdown multiple testing," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 38-40.
    8. Mansour, Hani & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Armed conflict and birth weight: Evidence from the al-Aqsa Intifada," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 190-199.
    9. Adriana Camacho, 2008. "Stress and Birth Weight: Evidence from Terrorist Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 511-515, May.
    10. Voigt, Manfred & Heineck, Guido & Hesse, Volker, 2004. "The relationship between maternal characteristics, birth weight and pre-term delivery: evidence from Germany at the end of the 20th century," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 265-280, June.
    11. Anna Aizer & Laura Stroud & Stephen Buka, 2016. "Maternal Stress and Child Outcomes: Evidence from Siblings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(3), pages 523-555.
    12. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2016. "Does Grief Transfer across Generations? Bereavements during Pregnancy and Child Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 193-223, January.
    13. Berthelon, Matias & Kruger, Diana & Sánchez, Rafael, 2018. "Maternal Stress during Pregnancy and Early Childhood Development," IZA Discussion Papers 11452, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Florencia Torche, 2011. "The Effect of Maternal Stress on Birth Outcomes: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(4), pages 1473-1491, November.
    15. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
    16. Johnson Rucker C & Schoeni Robert F, 2011. "The Influence of Early-Life Events on Human Capital, Health Status, and Labor Market Outcomes Over the Life Course," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(3), pages 1-57, September.
    17. Ryan Brown, 2014. "The Intergenerational Impact of Terror: Does the 9/11 Tragedy Reverberate into the Outcomes of the Next Generation?," HiCN Working Papers 165, Households in Conflict Network.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Maternal stress; Birth outcomes; Natural disasters; Mother-fixed-effects;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

    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:ehbiol:v:36:y:2020:i:c:s1570677x19300619. 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: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964 .

    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.