IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/wdevel/v99y2017icp350-376.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Childhood Health and Prenatal Exposure to Seasonal Food Scarcity in Ethiopia

Author

Listed:
  • Miller, Ray

Abstract

There is growing empirical support that poor maternal nutrition during pregnancy can lead to permanent fetal adaptations that affect health throughout a child’s life. Most of the evidence stems from evaluating the impact of extreme prenatal deprivations due to atypical events such as droughts or floods. However, less is known about the magnitude of effects due to more normal variations in food availability. This study estimates the impact of prenatal exposure to seasonal food scarcity on the evolution of childhood health for a cohort of Ethiopian children born in 2001–02. A novel measure of seasonal exposure was constructed based on reported months of relative food scarcity in the local community collected shortly after birth. While exposure was found to have little effect on child height at age one, a larger and statistically significant negative impact emerges by age eight and strengthens by age twelve. Effects in early childhood also appear to be latent from the view of parents with little evidence of remedial investments in exposed children after birth. We conclude that mild prenatal nutritional deprivations could have significant impacts on long-term health and well-being even if effects are small or unobserved in early childhood. This implies caution against the common use of birth and early-life outcomes as the sole evaluation tools for mild prenatal insults or interventions. Overall, results highlight that in addition to the effects of severe famine conditions identified in many studies, more typical variation in prenatal food availability can have lasting impacts on health in the developing world.

Suggested Citation

  • Miller, Ray, 2017. "Childhood Health and Prenatal Exposure to Seasonal Food Scarcity in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 350-376.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:350-376
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.05.017
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X17301791
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Lokshin & Sergiy Radyakin, 2012. "Month of Birth and Children’s Health in India," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(1), pages 174-203.
    2. Mulmi, Prajula & Block, Steven A. & Shively, Gerald E. & Masters, William A., 2016. "Climatic conditions and child height: Sex-specific vulnerability and the protective effects of sanitation and food markets in Nepal," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 63-75.
    3. Stefan Dercon & Catherine Porter, 2014. "Live Aid Revisited: Long-Term Impacts Of The 1984 Ethiopian Famine On Children," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 927-948, August.
    4. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2013. "Fetal Origins and Parental Responses," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 37-56, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Duncan Thomas & John Strauss & Maria-Helena Henriques, 1991. "How Does Mother's Education Affect Child Height?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 183-211.
    7. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Susanne M. Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 883-931, May.
    8. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    9. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 15, pages 1315-1486, Elsevier.
    10. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    11. Jennifer Trudeau & Karen Smith Conway & Andrea Kutinova Menclova, 2016. "Soaking Up the Sun: The Role of Sunshine in the Production of Infant Health," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-40, January.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Kasey S. Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2013. "Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 711-724, July.
    15. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Vinha, Katja, 2012. "Climate variability and child height in rural Mexico," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 54-73.
    16. 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.
    17. Quy-Toan Do & Tung D. Phung, 2010. "The Importance of Being Wanted," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 236-253, October.
    18. Groppo, Valeria & Kraehnert, Kati, 2016. "Extreme Weather Events and Child Height: Evidence from Mongolia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 59-78.
    19. McEniry, Mary, 2011. "Infant mortality, season of birth and the health of older Puerto Rican adults," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(6), pages 1004-1015, March.
    20. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie, 2011. "Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 153-172, Summer.
    21. Bart Minten & David Stifel & Seneshaw Tamru, 2014. "Structural Transformation of Cereal Markets in Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(5), pages 611-629, May.
    22. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    23. Ayalew, Tekabe, 2005. "Parental Preference, Heterogeneity, and Human Capital Inequality," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 381-407, January.
    24. World Bank, 2015. "World Development Indicators 2015," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21634, September.
    25. Rosemary Hyson & Janet Currie, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 245-250, May.
    26. James J. Heckman, 2007. "The Economics, Technology and Neuroscience of Human Capability Formation," NBER Working Papers 13195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Katy Cornwell & Brett Inder, 2015. "Child Health and Rainfall in Early Life," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(7), pages 865-880, July.
    28. Achyuta Adhvaryu & Anant Nyshadham, 2015. "Return to Treatment in the Formal Health Care Sector: Evidence from Tanzania," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 29-57, August.
    29. Catherine Porter, 2010. "Safety nets or investment in the future: Does food aid have any long‐term impact on children's growth?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(8), pages 1134-1145, November.
    30. Achyuta Adhvaryu & Anant Nyshadham, 2016. "Endowments at Birth and Parents' Investments in Children," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(593), pages 781-820, June.
    31. Paul Glewwe, 1999. "Why Does Mother's Schooling Raise Child Health in Developing Countries? Evidence from Morocco," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 124-159.
    32. Abbi Kedir, 2009. "Health and Productivity: Panel Data Evidence from Ethiopia," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 21(1), pages 59-72.
    33. 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.
    34. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2011. "Health Capital and the Prenatal Environment: The Effect of Ramadan Observance during Pregnancy," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 56-85, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health; nutrition; Africa; Ethiopia; prenatal; seasonal;

    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:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:350-376. 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/worlddev .

    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.