The Inter-Generational Health Effect of Early Malnutrition: Evidence from the 1983-85 Ethiopian Famine

42 Pages Posted: 24 May 2017

See all articles by Abraham Asfaw

Abraham Asfaw

Tulane University - Department of Economics; Tulane University - The Murphy Institute

Date Written: November 1, 2016

Abstract

Early malnutrition can have adverse long-term effects, leading to poor health across generations. In this paper, using exposure to the 1983-85 Ethiopian famine as an exogenous shock, I examine the inter-generational health effects of early exposure to famine. Linking the Ethiopian Socioeconomic Survey with the 1984 Ethiopian Census, I show that both in utero and early childhood (age 0-3) exposure to the 1983-85 Ethiopian famine increases the probability of stunting and reduces the height-for-age z score of the next generation. The inter-generational health effects of the famine are severe on the pre-famine and maternal cohort than the famine and paternal cohort. This finding suggests that a policy intervention that aims to reduce childhood malnutrition can have a return that transfer across generations.

Keywords: Famine, Child Health, Inter-generational, Selection, Sex-ratio

JEL Classification: I15, J13, O55

Suggested Citation

Asfaw, Abraham, The Inter-Generational Health Effect of Early Malnutrition: Evidence from the 1983-85 Ethiopian Famine (November 1, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2972977 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2972977

Abraham Asfaw (Contact Author)

Tulane University - Department of Economics ( email )

New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

Tulane University - The Murphy Institute ( email )

6823 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

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