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Child schooling, child health and rainfall shocks: evidence from rural Vietnam

Author

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  • Thuan Q. Thai

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Evangelos M. Falaris

Abstract

We study the effect of early life conditions, proxied by rainfall shocks, on schooling and height in rural Vietnam. Our measure of rainfall shock is defined as deviations from the long-run average. Many Vietnamese rural dwellers engage in rain-fed crop production, mostly irrigated paddy rice. Sufficient annual rainfall could play an important role in the harvest and thus, the household income. Nutritional deficiencies resulting from the household's income shocks may have negative consequences on health. We find that a negative rainfall shock during gestation delays school entry and slows progress through school. In addition, a negative rainfall shock in the third year of life affects adversely both schooling and height. The effects differ by region in ways that reflect differing constraints on families that are shaped by regional economic heterogeneity. We predict that policies that help rural families smooth income shocks will result in increases in human capital and in substantial cumulative returns in productivity over the life course.

Suggested Citation

  • Thuan Q. Thai & Evangelos M. Falaris, 2011. "Child schooling, child health and rainfall shocks: evidence from rural Vietnam," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2011-011, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2011-011
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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2011-011.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Carlos Bozzoli & Angus Deaton & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2009. "Adult height and childhood disease," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(4), pages 647-669, November.
    3. John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
    4. Harold Alderman & Hans Hoogeveen & Mariacristina Rossi, 2009. "Preschool Nutrition and Subsequent Schooling Attainment: Longitudinal Evidence from Tanzania," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 239-260, January.
    5. Paul Glewwe & Nisha Agrawal & David Dollar, 2004. "Economic Growth, Poverty, and Household Welfare in Vietnam," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15010.
    6. 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.
    7. Harold Alderman & Jere R. Behrman & Victor Lavy & Rekha Menon, 2001. "Child Health and School Enrollment: A Longitudinal Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 185-205.
    8. 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.
    9. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of Delayed Primary School Enrollment in a Low Income Country: The Role of Early Childhood Nutrition," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 156-169, February.
    10. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G. & King, Elizabeth M., 2001. "Early childhood nutrition and academic achievement: a longitudinal analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 345-368, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Vietnam; child nutrition; early childhood; school enrollment;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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