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Gender, race, and heterogeneous scarring and selection effects of epidemic malaria on human capital

  • Samantha Rawlings


    (Department of Economics, University of Reading)

This paper investigates the impact of exposure to a serious, unusual, and unforeseen malaria epidemic in North East Brazil in 1938-1940 on subsequent human capital attainment. Arguing the event was exogenous, it exploits cohort- and regional-heterogeneity in exposure to identify effects. Given the high mortality rate associated with the epidemic, a model of selection and scarring is used to frame results. Differential mortality rates are expected according to gender and race, and in line with this there is heterogeneity in whether selection or scarring dominates. Non-white (white) women are selected (scarred) overall, whilst men of all races appear to be selected. Results contribute to evidence suggesting that exposure to negative environmental shocks affects human capital attainment, whilst also suggesting it heterogeneously impacts cohort composition.

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Paper provided by Henley Business School, Reading University in its series Economics & Management Discussion Papers with number em-dp2012-01.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 30 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2012-01
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