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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
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-01099524, HAL.
    2. Alexandre Chiavegatto Filho & Ichiro Kawachi, 2013. "Are sex-selective abortions a characteristic of every poor region? Evidence from Brazil," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(3), pages 395-400, June.
    3. Matthew D. Webb, 2014. "Reworking Wild Bootstrap Based Inference for Clustered Errors," Working Papers 1315, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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    5. 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.
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    7. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    8. Valente, Christine, 2015. "Civil conflict, gender-specific fetal loss, and selection: A new test of the Trivers–Willard hypothesis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 31-50.
    9. A. Colin Cameron & Douglas L. Miller, 2015. "A Practitioner’s Guide to Cluster-Robust Inference," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 317-372.
    10. Hong, Sok Chul, 2007. "The Burden of Early Exposure to Malaria in the United States, 1850–1860: Malnutrition and Immune Disorders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(04), pages 1001-1035, December.
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