IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/socmed/v76y2013icp83-91.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The impact of natural disasters on child health and investments in rural India

Author

Listed:
  • Datar, Ashlesha
  • Liu, Jenny
  • Linnemayr, Sebastian
  • Stecher, Chad

Abstract

There is growing concern that climate change will lead to more frequent natural disasters that may adversely affect short- and long-term health outcomes in developing countries. Prior research has primarily focused on the impact of single, large disaster events but very little is known about how small and moderate disasters, which are more typical, affect population health. In this paper, we present one of the first investigations of the impact of small and moderate disasters on childhood morbidity, physical growth, and immunizations by combining household data on over 80,000 children from three waves of the Indian National Family and Health Survey with an international database of natural disasters (EM-DAT). We find that exposure to a natural disaster in the past month increases the likelihood of acute illnesses such as diarrhea, fever, and acute respiratory illness in children under 5 year by 9–18%. Exposure to a disaster in the past year reduces height-for-age and weight-for-age z-scores by 0.12–0.15 units, increases the likelihood of stunting and underweight by 7%, and reduces the likelihood of having full age-appropriate immunization coverage by nearly 18%. We also find that disasters' effects vary significantly by gender, age, and socioeconomic characteristics. Most notably, the adverse effects on growth outcomes are much smaller among boys, infants, and families with more socioeconomic resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Datar, Ashlesha & Liu, Jenny & Linnemayr, Sebastian & Stecher, Chad, 2013. "The impact of natural disasters on child health and investments in rural India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 83-91.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:76:y:2013:i:c:p:83-91
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.10.008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953612007307
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.10.008?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    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. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2006. "Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 450-474, July.
    2. David Strömberg, 2007. "Natural Disasters, Economic Development, and Humanitarian Aid," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 199-222, Summer.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:pri:cheawb:case_and_paxson_early_life_health_w15637 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Seema Jayachandran, 2009. "Air Quality and Early-Life Mortality: Evidence from Indonesia’s Wildfires," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
    6. Carter, Michael R. & Little, Peter D. & Mogues, Tewodaj & Negatu, Workneh, 2007. "Poverty Traps and Natural Disasters in Ethiopia and Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 835-856, May.
    7. repec:pri:cheawb:case_and_paxson_early_life_health_w15637.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Douglas Almond, 2006. "Is the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Over? Long-Term Effects of In Utero Influenza Exposure in the Post-1940 U.S. Population," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 672-712, August.
    9. Claus C Pörtner, 2010. "Natural Hazards and Child Health," Working Papers UWEC-2010-03, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    10. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2010. "Causes and consequences of early-life health," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(1), pages 65-85, March.
    11. Haas, Steven, 2008. "Trajectories of functional health: The 'long arm' of childhood health and socioeconomic factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 849-861, February.
    12. Elaina Rose, 1999. "Consumption Smoothing and Excess Female Mortality in Rural India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 41-49, February.
    13. Toya, Hideki & Skidmore, Mark, 2007. "Economic development and the impacts of natural disasters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 20-25, January.
    14. Vinod Mishra & T. K. Roy & Robert D. Retherford, 2004. "Sex Differentials in Childhood Feeding, Health Care, and Nutritional Status in India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 269-295, June.
    15. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 499-532, June.
    16. Narayan Sastry, 2002. "Forest fires, air pollution, and mortality in Southeast Asia," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(1), pages 1-23, February.
    17. Sonalde Desai & Soumya Alva, 1998. "Maternal education and child health: Is there a strong causal relationship?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 35(1), pages 71-81, February.
    18. Thomas, Timothy & Christiaensen, Luc & Do, Quy Toan & Trung, Le Dang, 2010. "Natural disasters and household welfare : evidence from Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5491, The World Bank.
    19. repec:pri:rpdevs:case_and_paxson_early_life_health_w15637 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2009. "Early Life Health and Cognitive Function in Old Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 104-109, May.
    21. Valerie Mueller & Daniel Osgood, 2009. "Long-term Impacts of Droughts on Labour Markets in Developing Countries: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(10), pages 1651-1662.
    22. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_stature_status_8312006.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2001. "Child Growth in the Time of Drought," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(4), pages 409-436, September.
    24. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_stature_status_8312006 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Hoyt Bleakley, 2009. "Economic Effects of Childhood Exposure to Tropical Disease," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 218-223, May.
    26. Matthew E. Kahn, 2005. "The Death Toll from Natural Disasters: The Role of Income, Geography, and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 271-284, May.
    27. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1982. "Market Opportunities, Genetic Endowments, and Intrafamily Resource Distribution: Child Survival in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 803-815, September.
    28. Miller, Barbara D., 1997. "Social class, gender and intrahousehold food allocations to children in South Asia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(11), pages 1685-1695, June.
    29. Chen, Yuyu & Zhou, Li-An, 2007. "The long-term health and economic consequences of the 1959-1961 famine in China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 659-681, July.
    30. repec:pri:indrel:case_paxson_stature_status_8312006 is not listed on IDEAS
    31. Behrman, Jere R, 1988. "Intrahousehold Allocation of Nutrients in Rural India: Are Boys Favored? Do Parents Exhibit Inequality Aversion?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 32-54, March.
    32. John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2001. "Child Growth in the Time of Drought," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(4), pages 409-436, September.
    33. repec:pri:indrel:case_paxson_stature_status_8312006.pdf 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. Bulaon, June Patrick & Shoji, Masahiro, 2022. "Disaster Exposure in Childhood and Adult Noncognitive Skill: Evidence from the Philippines," MPRA Paper 112913, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Gaurav Dhamija & Gitanjali Sen, 2022. "Lasting Impact on Health from Natural Disasters, Potential Mechanisms and Mitigating Effects," Working Papers 2022-03, Shiv Nadar University, Department of Economics.
    3. Maclean, Johanna Catherine & Popovici, Ioana & French, Michael T., 2016. "Are natural disasters in early childhood associated with mental health and substance use disorders as an adult?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 78-91.
    4. Khanal, Binod, 2022. "The impacts of the 2015 Gorkha earthquake on Children’s health in Nepal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 153(C).
    5. Trinh, Trong-Anh & Feeny, Simon & Posso, Alberto, 2021. "The impact of natural disasters on migration: findings from Vietnam," Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 479-510, September.
    6. Tripathi, Sabyasachi, 2019. "Effect of Disasters and Climate Change on Poverty and Inequality in India," MPRA Paper 94132, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Noghanibehambari, Hamid, 2022. "In utero exposure to natural disasters and later-life mortality: Evidence from earthquakes in the early twentieth century," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 307(C).
    8. Ahsanuzzaman, & Islam, Muhammad Q., 2020. "Children’s vulnerability to natural disasters: Evidence from natural experiments in Bangladesh," World Development Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 19(C).
    9. Shreyasee Das & Shatanjaya Dasgupta, 2019. "Marriage Market Responses in the Wake of a Natural Disaster in India," DETU Working Papers 1902, Department of Economics, Temple University.
    10. Yashobanta Parida & Swati Saini & Joyita Roy Chowdhury, 2021. "Economic growth in the aftermath of floods in Indian states," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 535-561, January.
    11. David I. Levine & Dean Yang, 2014. "The Impact of Rainfall on Rice Output in Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 20302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Thiede, Brian C. & Gray, Clark, 2020. "Climate exposures and child undernutrition: Evidence from Indonesia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 265(C).
    13. Aniqa Islam Marshall & Gideon Lasco & Mathudara Phaiyarom & Nattanicha Pangkariya & Phetdavanh Leuangvilay & Pigunkaew Sinam & Rapeepong Suphanchaimat & Sataporn Julchoo & Watinee Kunpeuk & Yunting Zh, 2021. "Evidence on Child Nutrition Recommendations and Challenges in Crisis Settings: A Scoping Review," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(12), pages 1-19, June.
    14. Fanzo, Jessica & McLaren, Rebecca & Davis, Claire & Choufani, Jowel, 2017. "Climate change and variability: What are the risks for nutrition, diets, and food systems?," IFPRI discussion papers 1645, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    15. Ghazal Shahpari & Hossein Sadeghi & Malihe Ashena & David García-León, 2022. "Drought effects on the Iranian economy: a computable general equilibrium approach," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 4110-4127, March.
    16. Pardhi, Ashish & Jungari, Suresh & Kale, Parshuram & Bomble, Priyanka, 2020. "Migrant motherhood: Maternal and child health care utilization of forced migrants in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).
    17. Sundar Ponnusamy, 2022. "Natural disasters and missing children," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(2), pages 399-416, February.
    18. Algur, Kisan Dilip & Patel, Surendra Kumar & Chauhan, Shekhar, 2021. "The impact of drought on the health and livelihoods of women and children in India: A systematic review," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    19. Chang, Grace & Favara, Marta & Novella, Rafael, 2022. "The origins of cognitive skills and non-cognitive skills: The long-term effect of in-utero rainfall shocks in India," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 44(C).
    20. Fichera, Eleonora & Savage, David, 2015. "Income and Health in Tanzania. An Instrumental Variable Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 500-515.
    21. Aurélia Lépine & Maria Restuccio & Eric Strobl, 2021. "Can we mitigate the effect of natural disasters on child health? Evidence from the Indian Ocean tsunami in Indonesia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 432-452, February.
    22. Michelle S. Escobar Carías & David W. Johnston & Rachel Knott & Rohan Sweeney, 2022. "Flood disasters and health among the urban poor," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(9), pages 2072-2089, September.
    23. El-Shal, Amira & Mohieldin, Mahmoud & Moustafa, Eman, 2022. "Indirect impact of health disasters on maternal and child mortality," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 477-493.
    24. Bahru, B., 2018. "Climatic shocks and child undernutrition in Ethiopia: A longitudinal path analysis," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277297, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. Mu, Ren & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2008. "Gender difference in the long-term impact of famine:," IFPRI discussion papers 760, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Lohmann, Steffen & Lechtenfeld, Tobias, 2015. "The Effect of Drought on Health Outcomes and Health Expenditures in Rural Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 432-448.
    4. Fitz, Dylan & League, Riley, 2020. "The impact of early-life shocks on adult welfare in Brazil: Questions of measurement and timing," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C).
    5. Gignoux, Jérémie & Menéndez, Marta, 2016. "Benefit in the wake of disaster: Long-run effects of earthquakes on welfare in rural Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 26-44.
    6. Hyland, Marie & Russ, Jason, 2019. "Water as destiny – The long-term impacts of drought in sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 30-45.
    7. Vibhuti Mendiratta, 2015. "Impact of Rainfall Shocks on Child Health: Evidence from India," PSE Working Papers halshs-01211575, HAL.
    8. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Vinha, Katja, 2012. "Climate variability and child height in rural Mexico," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 54-73.
    9. 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.
    10. Janet Currie & Tom Vogl, 2013. "Early-Life Health and Adult Circumstance in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, May.
    11. Baez, Javier E., 2011. "Civil wars beyond their borders: The human capital and health consequences of hosting refugees," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 391-408, November.
    12. Aguilar, Arturo & Vicarelli, Marta, 2022. "El Niño and children: Medium-term effects of early-life weather shocks on cognitive and health outcomes," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    13. Mansuri, Ghazala, 2006. "Migration,sex bias, and child growth in rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3946, The World Bank.
    14. Futoshi Yamauchi, 2012. "Prenatal Seasonality, Child Growth, and Schooling Investments: Evidence from Rural Indonesia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(9), pages 1323-1341, September.
    15. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet & Herrmann, Mariesa, 2012. "From infant to mother: Early disease environment and future maternal health," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 475-483.
    16. Enkelejda Havari & Franco Peracchi, 2011. "Childhood circumstances and adult outcomes: Evidence from World War II," EIEF Working Papers Series 1115, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Aug 2012.
    17. Ozier, Owen, 2014. "Exploiting externalities to estimate the long-term effects of early childhood deworming," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7052, The World Bank.
    18. Chatterjee, Jagori & Merfeld, Joshua D., 2021. "Protecting girls from droughts with social safety nets," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    19. Rentschler, Jun E., 2013. "Why resilience matters - the poverty impacts of disasters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6699, The World Bank.
    20. Schiman, Jeffrey C. & Kaestner, Robert & Lo Sasso, Anthony T., 2019. "Infant mortality and adult wellbeing: Evidence from wartime Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 12-29.

    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:socmed:v:76:y:2013:i:c:p:83-91. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description .

    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.