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In-utero Exposure to Rainfall Variability and Early Childhood Health

Le, Kien and Nguyen, My (2019): In-utero Exposure to Rainfall Variability and Early Childhood Health.


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Climate change has drastically altered precipitation patterns across the globe and has caused an increase in rainfall variability, including the incidence of extreme rainfall events such as droughts and floods. Exploiting the exogenous variation in rainfall to which children were exposed during the nine months in utero, we find that rainfall variability adversely affects the anthropometric status of children under five years of age in 55 low and middle-income countries. Moreover, the consequences of fetal exposure to rainfall variability are strongly apparent in the child’s first year of life and linger to some extent at later ages. Our heterogeneity analyses further show that children of disadvantaged backgrounds, such as poor and uneducated households, are especially vulnerable to rainfall variability during gestation.

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