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The Impacts of Rainfall Shocks on Birth Weight in Vietnam

Le, Kien and Nguyen, My (2019): The Impacts of Rainfall Shocks on Birth Weight in Vietnam.

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Abstract

This paper investigates the less discernible cost of rainfall shocks to birth weight outcomes within the context of Vietnam. Exploiting the variation across districts and conception months-years, we show that in-utero exposure to excessive and deficient rainfall shocks in the second trimester of pregnancy reduces child’s weight at birth by 3.5 and 3.1%, respectively. Besides, infants born to poor, rural, and low educated mothers are especially vulnerable to the adverse repercussions of rainfall shocks. Since poor infant health can leave persistent effects over the life cycle, the study calls for more efforts in intervention measures to mitigate the impacts of rainfall shocks. Additional attention should be given to children and women from disadvantaged backgrounds as this group is the most vulnerable.

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