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Gender, Race, and Heterogeneous Effects of Epidemic Malaria on Human Capital and Income

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  • Samantha B. Rawlings

Abstract

This article investigates the impact of exposure to a serious, unusual, and unforeseen malaria epidemic in northeast Brazil in 1938-40 on subsequent human capital attainment and income. Arguing the event was exogenous, the article exploits cohort and regional heterogeneity in exposure to identify effects. Results are consistent with differential mortality rates according to gender and socioeconomic status, such that heterogeneous selection and scarring effects are observed. Analyzing by gender alone, positive (selection) effects are found for men, and mixed (positive and negative) effects for women. Allowing for heterogeneity by race, selection effects persist for men. In contrast, positive (selection) effects are observed for nonwhite women, and negative (scarring) effects for white women. Results contribute to evidence suggesting that exposure to negative environmental shocks affects human capital attainment, while also suggesting it heterogeneously affects cohort composition.

Suggested Citation

  • Samantha B. Rawlings, 2016. "Gender, Race, and Heterogeneous Effects of Epidemic Malaria on Human Capital and Income," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(3), pages 509-543.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/684965
    DOI: 10.1086/684965
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    1. Maria Kuecken & Josselin Thuilliez & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2015. "Does malaria control impact education? Evidence from Roll Back Malaria in Africa," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01099524, HAL.
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    5. Matthew D. Webb, 2014. "Reworking Wild Bootstrap Based Inference For Clustered Errors," Working Paper 1315, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    6. Venkataramani, Atheendar S., 2012. "Early life exposure to malaria and cognition in adulthood: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 767-780.
    7. Elaine Kelly, 2011. "The Scourge of Asian Flu: In utero Exposure to Pandemic Influenza and the Development of a Cohort of British Children," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(4), pages 669-694.
    8. David Cutler & Winnie Fung & Michael Kremer & Monica Singhal & Tom Vogl, 2010. "Early-Life Malaria Exposure and Adult Outcomes: Evidence from Malaria Eradication in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 72-94, April.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Veras, Henrique, 2022. "Wrong place, wrong time: The long-run effects of in-utero exposure to malaria on educational attainment," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 44(C).

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