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The Impacts of Hurricane Mitch on Child Health: Evidence from Nicaragua


  • Omitsu, Makiko
  • Yamano, Takashi


By taking a rare opportunity to have both pre- and post-disaster survey data in Nicaragua in 1998 and 2001, we estimate the direct impacts of Hurricane Mitch on long-term child health status, measured in height-for-age z-scores, in the pooled cross section model. Especially, we focus on children who were younger than 2.5 years old at the time of Hurricane Mitch because the previous studies show that children under two to three years old are especially vulnerable to shocks. The results indicate that, in the 2001 survey, more than two years after experiencing Hurricane Mitch, children who were younger than 2.5 years old at the time of Hurricane Mitch have 0.35 points lower HAZ-scores and have 6.6 percent higher probability of stunting than expected. Although the poor health status of these children could not be attributed entirely to Hurricane Mitch, we suspect that it is one of the main factors. The results suggest the importance of safety nets programs to mitigate negative impacts on child health in their early childhood.

Suggested Citation

  • Omitsu, Makiko & Yamano, Takashi, 2006. "The Impacts of Hurricane Mitch on Child Health: Evidence from Nicaragua," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25700, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25700

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rosy Wediawaty, 2014. "The Impact of Being Poor During Crisis on Child Health and Cognitive Development in Indonesia," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 201413, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Oct 2014.

    More about this item


    Health Economics and Policy; I3; O13; Q51; Q54;

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming


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