Intergenerational Transmission of Shocks in Early Life: Evidence from the Tanzania Great Flood of 1993

29 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2015

See all articles by Germán Caruso

Germán Caruso

World Bank; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 31, 2015

Abstract

This paper estimates the short, medium and long term effects on health and the subsequent intergenerational transmission of exposure in childhood to the Tanzania Flood of 1993. The identification strategy exploits exogenous variation in the disaster’s geographic extent and timing, and the exposure of different birth cohorts to the disaster. Results show that children exposed to the flood have lower height-for-age Z-scores three years after the shock, with larger effects for girls than for boys. Moreover, women who were less than 18 years old during the flood experienced negative health impacts that were persistent even 17 years after the flood. Surprisingly, the children of the women exposed in childhood to the flood have lower height-for-age Z-scores, while the children of the affected men experience no effect on their height-for-age Z-scores. The impacts using GPS information are 32% larger than if exposure is measured at the imprecise regional level. The effects are robust to selective migration.

Keywords: Child health; Long term effects; Intergenerational transmission; Natural disasters

JEL Classification: D31, I32, C49

Suggested Citation

Caruso, German, Intergenerational Transmission of Shocks in Early Life: Evidence from the Tanzania Great Flood of 1993 (January 31, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2560876 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2560876

German Caruso (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Economics ( email )

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