IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rio/texdis/601.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Water Scarcity and Birth Outcomes in the Brazilian Semiarid

Author

Listed:
  • Rudi Rocha

    (UFRJ)

  • Rodrigo R. Soares

    (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of rainfall fluctuations during the gestational period on health at birth. We concentrate on the semiarid region of Northeastern Brazil to highlight the role of water scarcity as a determinant of early life health. We find that negative rainfall shocks are robustly correlated with higher infant mortality, lower birth weight, and shorter gestation periods. Mortality effects are concentrated on intestinal infections and malnutrition, and are greatly minimized when the local public health infrastructure is sufficiently developed (municipality coverage of piped water and sanitation). We also …nd that e¤ects are stronger during the fetal period (2nd trimester of gestation), for children born during the dry season, and for mortality in the first 6 months of life. The results seem to be driven by water scarcity per se, and not by reduced agricultural production. Our estimates suggest that expansions in public health infrastructure would be a cost-effective way of reducing the response of infant mortality to rainfall shocks in the Brazilian semiarid

Suggested Citation

  • Rudi Rocha & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2012. "Water Scarcity and Birth Outcomes in the Brazilian Semiarid," Textos para discussão 601, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  • Handle: RePEc:rio:texdis:601
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.econ.puc-rio.br/uploads/adm/trabalhos/files/td601.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Gørgens, Tue & Meng, Xin & Vaithianathan, Rhema, 2012. "Stunting and selection effects of famine: A case study of the Great Chinese Famine," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 99-111.
    3. Olivier Deschênes & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Extreme Weather Events, Mortality, and Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 659-681, November.
    4. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
    5. Olivier Deschenes & Michael Greenstone & Jonathan Guryan, 2009. "Climate Change and Birth Weight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 211-217, May.
    6. Janet Currie, 2009. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 87-122, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Vinha, Katja & Conroy, Hector V., 2011. "The impacts of climate variability on welfare in rural Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5555, The World Bank.
    9. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 15, pages 1315-1486, Elsevier.
    10. Glewwe, Paul & Miguel, Edward A., 2008. "The Impact of Child Health and Nutrition on Education in Less Developed Countries," Handbook of Development Economics, in: T. Paul Schultz & John A. Strauss (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 56, pages 3561-3606, Elsevier.
    11. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Kudamatsu, Masayuki & Persson, Torsten & Strömberg, David, 2012. "Weather and Infant Mortality in Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 9222, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Andalón, Mabel & Azevedo, João Pedro & Rodríguez-Castelán, Carlos & Sanfelice, Viviane & Valderrama-González, Daniel, 2016. "Weather Shocks and Health at Birth in Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 69-82.
    2. Lee, Wang-Sheng & Li, Ben G., 2021. "Extreme weather and mortality: Evidence from two millennia of Chinese elites," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    3. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2014. "What Do We Learn from the Weather? The New Climate-Economy Literature," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(3), pages 740-798, September.
    4. Fitzsimons, Emla & Malde, Bansi & Mesnard, Alice & Vera-Hernández, Marcos, 2016. "Nutrition, information and household behavior: Experimental evidence from Malawi," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 113-126.
    5. Otrachshenko, Vladimir & Popova, Olga & Solomin, Pavel, 2017. "Health Consequences of the Russian Weather," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 290-306.
    6. Dora L. Costa, 2015. "Health and the Economy in the United States from 1750 to the Present," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(3), pages 503-570, September.
    7. Youhong Lin & Feng Liu & Peng Xu, 2021. "Effects of drought on infant mortality in China," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 248-269, February.
    8. Groppo, Valeria & Kraehnert, Kati, 2016. "Extreme Weather Events and Child Height: Evidence from Mongolia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 59-78.
    9. Thompson, Kristina & Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France, 2019. "Adult body height as a mediator between early-life conditions and socio-economic status: the case of the Dutch Potato Famine, 1846–1847," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 103-114.
    10. 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.
    11. Schultz, T. Paul, 2010. "Population and Health Policies," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Dani Rodrik & Mark Rosenzweig (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 4785-4881, Elsevier.
    12. Bermudez, Bladimir Carrillo & Santos Branco, Danyelle Karine & Trujillo, Juan Carlos & de Lima, Joao Eustaquio, 2015. "Deforestation and Infant Health: Evidence from an Environmental Conservation Policy in Brazil," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 229064, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano & da Silva, Luiz Pereira, 2014. "On gender and growth: The role of intergenerational health externalities and women's occupational constraints," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 132-147.
    14. Marshall Burke & Erick Gong & Kelly Jones, 2015. "Income Shocks and HIV in Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(585), pages 1157-1189, June.
    15. Fitzsimons, Emla & Malde, Bansi & Mesnard, Alice & Vera-Hernández, Marcos, 2012. "Household Responses to Information on Child Nutrition: Experimental Evidence from Malawi," CEPR Discussion Papers 8915, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Abhishek Chakravarty & Matthias Parey & Greg C. Wright, 2017. "The Human Capital Legacy of a Trade Embargo," 2017 Papers pch906, Job Market Papers.
    17. Nobles, Jenna & Hamoudi, Amar, 2019. "Detecting the Effects of Early-Life Exposures: Why Fecundity Matters," SocArXiv x4zm6, Center for Open Science.
    18. Samantha Rawlings, 2012. "Gender, race, and heterogeneous scarring and selection effects of epidemic malaria on human capital," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2012-01, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    19. Sekhri, Sheetal & Storeygard, Adam, 2014. "Dowry deaths: Response to weather variability in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 212-223.
    20. Philippe De Vreyer & Nathalie Guilbert & Sandrine Mesple-Somps, 2015. "Impact of Natural Disasters on Education Outcomes: Evidence from the 1987–89 Locust Plague in Mali," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 24(1), pages 57-100.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rio:texdis:601. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dpucrbr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dpucrbr.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.