La Niña Y Los Niños: Effects of an Unexpected Winter on Early Life Human Capital and Family Responses

60 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2015

See all articles by Juan Brando

Juan Brando

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Rafael J. Santos

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 16, 2015

Abstract

We use rainfall shocks caused by La Niña in Colombia between 2010 and 2011 as a source of variation in the inputs of human capital formation. We have outcomes in 2013 for kids 0 to 5 years old and their household characteristics just before La Niña. We measure exposure using the number of days of heavy rains at different ages according to the day of birth of the kid, the exact location of his household and the closest weather station. Exposure in utero reduces birth-weight (0.19SD), weight gain per month (0.07SD), actual weight (0.15SD) and height (0.12SD). Exposure during the second year of life increases the risk of socioemotional problems (0.19SD) and decreases results in cognitive tests (0.10SD). Consistent with reinforcement, children who receive a shock during a critical period also receive less investment by their families. Households were not able to shield their consumption and they cut their expenditures in health and education (0.06SD). However the majority of households do not acknowledge being directly affected by the winter.

Keywords: Human capital, early childhood, natural disasters

JEL Classification: I10, I20, O15, Q54, Q56

Suggested Citation

Brando, Juan and Santos, Rafael J., La Niña Y Los Niños: Effects of an Unexpected Winter on Early Life Human Capital and Family Responses (July 16, 2015). Documento CEDE No. 2015-25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2631736 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2631736

Juan Brando (Contact Author)

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia ( email )

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

Rafael J. Santos

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

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