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Weather and child health in rural Nigeria

  • Rabassa, Mariano
  • Skoufias, Emmanuel
  • Jacoby, Hanan G.

The effect of weather shocks on children's anthropometrics is investigated using the two most recent rounds of the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. For this purpose, climate data for each survey cluster are interpolated using daily weather-station records from the national network. The findings reveal that rainfall shocks have a statistically significant and robust impact on child health in the short run for both weight-for-height and height-for-age, and the incidence of diarrhea. The impacts of weather shocks on health are of considerable magnitude; however, children seem to catch up with their cohort rapidly after experiencing a shock. The paper does not find any evidence of nonlinear impacts of weather variability on children's health, suggesting that a moderate increase in future rainfall variability is not likely to bring additional health costs. Finally, it appears that the impact of these shocks is the same for young boys and girls, which suggests that there is no gender-based discrimination in the allocation of resources within households.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6214.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6214
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  1. Dercon, Stefan & Porter, Catherine, 2012. "Live aid revisited: long-term impacts of the 1984 Ethiopian famine on children," CEPR Discussion Papers 9033, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bengtsson, Niklas, 2010. "How responsive is body weight to transitory income changes? Evidence from rural Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 53-61, May.
  3. Friedman, Jed & Schady, Norbert, 2009. "How many more infants are likely to die in Africa as a result of the global financial crisis ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5023, The World Bank.
  4. Salvador Barrios & Luisito Bertinelli & Eric Strobl, 2010. "Trends in Rainfall and Economic Growth in Africa: A Neglected Cause of the African Growth Tragedy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 350-366, May.
  5. Bhalotra, Sonia R., 2007. "Fatal Fluctuations? Cyclicality in Infant Mortality in India," IZA Discussion Papers 3086, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Mendelsohn, Robert & Nordhaus, William D & Shaw, Daigee, 1994. "The Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture: A Ricardian Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 753-71, September.
  7. Kudamatsu, Masayuki & Persson, Torsten & Strömberg, David, 2012. "Weather and Infant Mortality in Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 9222, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Olivier Desch�nes & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Extreme Weather Events, Mortality, and Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 659-681, November.
  9. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Vinha, Katja, 2012. "Climate variability and child height in rural Mexico," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 54-73.
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