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The Effects of Intrauterine Malnutrition on Birth and Fertility Outcomes: Evidence from the 1974 Bangladesh Famine

Author

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  • Hernández-Julián, Rey

    () (Metropolitan State University of Denver)

  • Mansour, Hani

    () (University of Colorado Denver)

  • Peters, Christina

    () (Metropolitan State University of Denver)

Abstract

This paper uses the Bangladesh famine of 1974 as a natural experiment to estimate the impact of intrauterine malnutrition on sex of the child and infant mortality. In addition, we estimate the impact of malnutrition on post-famine pregnancy outcomes. Using the 1996 Matlab Health and Socioeconomic Survey (MHSS), we find that women who were pregnant during the famine were less likely to have male children. Moreover, children who were in utero during the most severe period of the Bangladesh famine were 32 percent more likely to die within one month of birth compared to their siblings who were not in utero during the famine. Finally, controlling for pre-famine fertility, we find that women who were pregnant during the Famine experienced a higher number of stillbirths in the post-Famine years. This increase appears to be driven by an excess number of male stillbirths.

Suggested Citation

  • Hernández-Julián, Rey & Mansour, Hani & Peters, Christina, 2013. "The Effects of Intrauterine Malnutrition on Birth and Fertility Outcomes: Evidence from the 1974 Bangladesh Famine," IZA Discussion Papers 7692, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7692
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mark R. Rosenzweig & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1985. "Specific Experience, Household Structure, and Intergenerational Transfers: Farm Family Land and Labor Arrangements in Developing Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 961-987.
    2. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2010. "Long-Term Effects of Early-Life Development: Evidence from the 1959 to 1961 China Famine," NBER Chapters, in: The Economic Consequences of Demographic Change in East Asia, pages 321-345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Mansour, Hani & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Armed conflict and birth weight: Evidence from the al-Aqsa Intifada," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 190-199.
    4. Amartya Sen, 1981. "Ingredients of Famine Analysis: Availability and Entitlements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(3), pages 433-464.
    5. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
    6. Adriana Camacho, 2008. "Stress and Birth Weight: Evidence from Terrorist Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 511-515, May.
    7. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie, 2011. "Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 153-172, Summer.
    8. Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2010. "Long-run effects on longevity of a nutritional shock early in life: The Dutch Potato famine of 1846-1847," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 617-629, September.
    9. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2011. "Health Capital and the Prenatal Environment: The Effect of Ramadan Observance during Pregnancy," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 56-85, October.
    10. Koenig, Michael A. & D'Souza, Stan, 1986. "Sex differences in childhood mortality in rural Bangladesh," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 15-22, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Molina, Oswaldo & Saldarriaga, Victor, 2017. "The perils of climate change: In utero exposure to temperature variability and birth outcomes in the Andean region," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 111-124.
    2. Cecchi, Francesco & Duchoslav, Jan, 2018. "The effect of prenatal stress on cooperation: Evidence from violent conflict in Uganda," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 35-56.
    3. Dagnelie, Olivier & Luca, Giacomo Davide De & Maystadt, Jean-François, 2018. "Violence, selection and infant mortality in Congo," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 153-177.
    4. Schultz-Nielsen, Marie Louise & Tekin, Erdal & Greve, Jane, 2016. "Labor market effects of intrauterine exposure to nutritional deficiency: Evidence from administrative data on Muslim immigrants in Denmark," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 196-209.
    5. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:30:y:2018:i:c:p:130-149 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Mansour, Hani & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Armed conflict and birth weight: Evidence from the al-Aqsa Intifada," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 190-199.
    7. Dell Saulnier & Kim Brolin, 2015. "A systematic review of the health effects of prenatal exposure to disaster," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(7), pages 781-787, November.
    8. Wilde, Joshua & Apouey, Bénédicte H. & Jung, Toni, 2017. "The effect of ambient temperature shocks during conception and early pregnancy on later life outcomes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 87-107.
    9. Olivier Dagnelie & Giacomo De Luca & Jean-Francois Maystadt, 2014. "Do girls pay the price of civil war?," Working Papers 66401113, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    10. Akresh, Richard & Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Leone, Marinella & Osili, Una O., 2017. "First and Second Generation Impacts of the Biafran War," IZA Discussion Papers 10938, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Groppo, Valeria & Kraehnert, Kati, 2016. "Extreme Weather Events and Child Height: Evidence from Mongolia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 59-78.
    12. Alam, Shamma Adeeb & Pörtner, Claus C., 2018. "Income shocks, contraceptive use, and timing of fertility," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 96-103.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    malnutrition; infant mortality; fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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