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Seasonal Effects of Water Quality on Infant and Child Health in India

Author

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  • Brainerd, Elizabeth

    () (Brandeis University)

  • Menon, Nidhiya

    () (Brandeis University)

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of fertilizer agrichemicals in water on infant and child health using data on water quality combined with data on the health outcomes of infants and children from the 1992-93, 1998-99, and 2005-06 Demographic and Health Surveys of India. Because fertilizers are applied at specific times in the growing season, the concentrations of agrichemicals in water vary seasonally and by cropped area as some Indian states plant predominantly summer crops while others plant winter crops. Our identification strategy exploits the differing timing of the planting seasons across regions and differing seasonal prenatal exposure to agrichemicals to identify the impact of agrichemical contamination on various measures of child health. The results indicate that children exposed to higher concentrations of agrichemicals during their first month experience worse health outcomes on a variety of measures (infant mortality, neo-natal mortality, height-for-age z scores and weight-for-age z-scores). Disaggregated runs reveal that effects are largest amongst the most vulnerable groups – children of uneducated poor women living in rural India.

Suggested Citation

  • Brainerd, Elizabeth & Menon, Nidhiya, 2012. "Seasonal Effects of Water Quality on Infant and Child Health in India," IZA Discussion Papers 6559, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6559
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Greenstone & Rema Hanna, 2014. "Environmental Regulations, Air and Water Pollution, and Infant Mortality in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3038-3072, October.
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    12. Avraham Ebenstein & Jian Zhang & Margaret S. McMillan & Kevin Chen, 2011. "Chemical Fertilizer and Migration in China," NBER Working Papers 17245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Janet Currie & Tom Vogl, 2013. "Early-Life Health and Adult Circumstance in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, May.
    2. Guojun He & Jeffrey M. Perloff, 2016. "Surface Water Quality and Infant Mortality in China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(1), pages 119-139.
    3. Hill, Elaine L., 2012. "Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Infant Health: Evidence from Pennsylvania," Working Papers 128815, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    4. Michael Greenstone & B. Kelsey Jack, 2013. "Envirodevonomics: A Research Agenda for a Young Field," NBER Working Papers 19426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:pri:rpdevs:currie_vogl_ar is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    child health; water pollutants; fertilizer agrichemicals; infant mortality; India; fertilizers;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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