Seasonal Effects of Water Quality on Infant and Child Health in India

51 Pages Posted: 26 May 2012

See all articles by Elizabeth Brainerd

Elizabeth Brainerd

Brandeis University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Nidhiya Menon

Brandeis University - International Business School

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of fertilizer agrichemicals in water on infant and child health using data on water quality combined with data on the health outcomes of infants and children from the 1992-93, 1998-99, and 2005-06 Demographic and Health Surveys of India. Because fertilizers are applied at specific times in the growing season, the concentrations of agrichemicals in water vary seasonally and by cropped area as some Indian states plant predominantly summer crops while others plant winter crops. Our identification strategy exploits the differing timing of the planting seasons across regions and differing seasonal prenatal exposure to agrichemicals to identify the impact of agrichemical contamination on various measures of child health. The results indicate that children exposed to higher concentrations of agrichemicals during their first month experience worse health outcomes on a variety of measures (infant mortality, neo-natal mortality, height-for-age z scores and weight-for-age z-scores). Disaggregated runs reveal that effects are largest amongst the most vulnerable groups – children of uneducated poor women living in rural India.

Keywords: fertilizer agrichemicals, water pollutants, child health, infant mortality, India, fertilizers

JEL Classification: O12, I15, Q53, Q56

Suggested Citation

Brainerd, Elizabeth and Menon, Nidhiya, Seasonal Effects of Water Quality on Infant and Child Health in India. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6559, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2066982

Elizabeth Brainerd (Contact Author)

Brandeis University - Department of Economics ( email )

Waltham, MA 02454-9110
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Nidhiya Menon

Brandeis University - International Business School ( email )

Mailstop 32
Waltham, MA 02454-9110
United States
781-736-2230 (Phone)
781-736-2269 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
83
Abstract Views
632
rank
324,697
PlumX Metrics