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Children of Drought: Rainfall Shocks and Early Child Health in Rural India

Author

Listed:
  • Santosh Kumar

    () (http://hsph.harvard.edu/population-development/)

  • Ramona Molitor

    () (University of Passau)

  • Sebastian Vollmer

    () (Center for Modern Indian Studies, Göttingen)

Abstract

Barker’s fetal origins hypothesis suggests a strong relationship between in utero conditions, health and overall child development after birth. Using nationally representative population survey, this paper analyzes the impact of rainfall on early child health in rural India. We find that drought experienced in utero has detrimental effects on nutritional status of children. Effects appear to be stronger for boys, low caste children, and children exposed to drought in the first trimester. Results are robust to alternative definitions of drought. Our estimates speculate that policies aimed at reducing vulnerability to negative rainfall shock may result into improved health and higher human capital accumulation in rain-dependent agrarian countries. JEL Codes: I25; J1; O12

Suggested Citation

  • Santosh Kumar & Ramona Molitor & Sebastian Vollmer, 2016. "Children of Drought: Rainfall Shocks and Early Child Health in Rural India," PGDA Working Papers 11614, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  • Handle: RePEc:gdm:wpaper:11614
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. repec:bla:popdev:v:45:y:2019:i:2:p:275-300 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. World Bank [WB], 2016. "High and Dry : Climate Change, Water, and the Economy," Working Papers id:10736, eSocialSciences.
    4. Manuel Barron & Sam Heft-Neal & Tania Perez, 2018. "Long-term effects of weather during gestation on education and labor outcomes: Evidence from Peru," Working Papers 134, Peruvian Economic Association.
    5. Manuel Barron, 2018. "In-utero weather shocks and learning outcomes," Working Papers 137, Peruvian Economic Association.
    6. Beuermann, Diether & Pecha, Camilo & Schmid, Juan Pedro, 2017. "The Effects of Weather Shocks on Early Childhood Development," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 8543, Inter-American Development Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fetal origins hypothesis; undernutrition; rainfall; India;

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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