Children at Risk: The Effect of Crop Loss on Child Health in Rural Mexico

29 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2013

See all articles by Maren M. Michaelsen

Maren M. Michaelsen

Ruhr University of Bochum; ISDC - International Security and Development Center

Songül Tolan

Joint Research Center of the European Commission

Date Written: October 1, 2012

Abstract

This study investigates the effect of an economic shock due to crop loss on health outcomes of children in rural Mexico. Data from the Mexican Family Life Survey for the years 2002 and 2005 offer retrospective information on economic shocks since 1997 and height-for-age z-scores (HAZ) to measure long-term effects on child health. Since crop losses are exogenous to the children, simple OLS regressions are used to estimate the effect of crop loss overall and over time. Children who were hit by crop loss have on average 0.4 standard deviations smaller HAZ two and three years after the shock than other children. For boys and children aged 25 to 60 months being hit by crop loss also increases the probability of being stunted by 20 and 27 percentage points, respectively. The findings demonstrate that, albeit its large poverty reduction programs, Mexico has to invest more to combat poverty and provide mechanisms to help households to cope with sudden economic losses.

Keywords: economic shock, crop loss, child health, Mexico

JEL Classification: I15, J13, Q12

Suggested Citation

Michaelsen, Maren M. and Tolan, Songül, Children at Risk: The Effect of Crop Loss on Child Health in Rural Mexico (October 1, 2012). Ruhr Economic Paper No. 376. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2199465 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2199465

Maren M. Michaelsen

Ruhr University of Bochum ( email )

Universitätsstraße 150
Bochum, NRW 44780
Germany

ISDC - International Security and Development Center ( email )

Friedrichstr. 88
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Songül Tolan (Contact Author)

Joint Research Center of the European Commission ( email )

Sevilla
Spain

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