'An Ill Wind that Blows No Girl Any Good': The Impacts of Climate-Induced Disease on Gender Inequality

61 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2018 Last revised: 3 Oct 2019

See all articles by Belinda Archibong

Belinda Archibong

Columbia University - Barnard College

Francis Annan

Georgia State University

Date Written: October 2, 2019

Abstract

Disease epidemics with climate links can worsen social inequality by increasing gender gaps in educational attainment through raising the direct and opportunity costs of investing in girls, particularly in poorer countries in the tropics. We investigate this hypothesis by examining the effects of sudden exposure to the 1986 meningitis epidemic in Niger on the gender gap in education. We document a significant reduction in years of education for school-aged girls relative to boys following the epidemic. We explore several channels underlying the results and find evidence highlighting income effects of epidemics on households and increased early marriage of girls.

Keywords: Education, Meningitis, Health, Human Capital, Gender Gap, Harmattan, Climate Change, Marriage, Bride-Price, Niger, Africa

JEL Classification: I12, I14, I24, J16, J24, O12, O15, Q54

Suggested Citation

Archibong, Belinda and Annan, Francis, 'An Ill Wind that Blows No Girl Any Good': The Impacts of Climate-Induced Disease on Gender Inequality (October 2, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3102625 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3102625

Belinda Archibong (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Barnard College ( email )

3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Francis Annan

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad St NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
United States

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