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Income, rainfall shocks and health. An instrumental variable approach


  • Savage, D.
  • Fichera, E.


We examine whether income shocks affect a range of health outcomes and a preventative behaviour. We instrument income with rainfall measurements by matching satellite information on timing and positioning of 21 rainfall stations to longitudinal data (1991-1994) of over 4,000 individuals in 51 villages of a North Western region in Tanzania. We find a pro-cyclical effect of income on health. A ten percent increase in income reduces by 0.2 the number of illnesses. A further finding is the positive effect on vaccinations of children under six: a ten percent increase in income implies an increase of about one vaccination, from a mean of 2.3 per child, for the four vaccinations of polio, tetanus, tuberculosis and measles. There is also some evidence of a reduction in chronic malnutrition of children under six. Our results suggest the income effect to offset the increased opportunity cost of time in this data.

Suggested Citation

  • Savage, D. & Fichera, E., 2013. "Income, rainfall shocks and health. An instrumental variable approach," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 13/13, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:13/13

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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Jeanet Martínez Rodríguez, 2017. "Impacto de la ola invernal sobre las dinámicas de uso del tiempo de hogares rurales," Documentos CEDE 015603, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    2. Hanandita, Wulung & Tampubolon, Gindo, 2014. "Does poverty reduce mental health? An instrumental variable analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 59-67.

    More about this item


    Rainfall shocks; Income; Health; Spatial interpolation;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


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