Glyphosate Use in Agriculture and Birth Outcomes of Surrounding Populations

49 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019

See all articles by Mateus Dias

Mateus Dias

Princeton University

Rudi Rocha

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

Rodrigo R. Soares

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA); Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Sao Paulo School of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

This paper assesses the impact of glyphosate use in agriculture on birth outcomes of human populations in surrounding areas. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. Still, despite ongoing controversy, little is known about its effects on human populations at large. Our empirical strategy relies on the fact that glyphosate is strongly complementary to the use of genetically modified seeds in soybean production. We use an instrument based on the gains in productivity from adoption of genetically modified soybeans and look at externalities across municipalities sharing the same water resources. We detect negative and statistically significant effects of glyphosate use on birth outcomes. Our results indicate externality effects of glyphosate use on populations distant from the original locations of use, but receiving water from these locations.

Keywords: glyphosate, herbicides, birth outcomes, infant mortality, water, externalities

JEL Classification: I18, Q53, Q15, O33

Suggested Citation

Dias, Mateus and Rocha, Rudi and Soares, Rodrigo R., Glyphosate Use in Agriculture and Birth Outcomes of Surrounding Populations (February 2019). IZA Discussion Paper No. 12164. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390151

Mateus Dias

Princeton University

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544-0708
United States

Rudi Rocha

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) ( email )

Av. Pedro Calmon, 550
Cidade Universitária
Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 21941-901
Brazil

Rodrigo R. Soares (Contact Author)

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Sao Paulo School of Economics ( email )

Rua Itapeva 474 s.1202
São Paulo, São Paulo 01332-000
Brazil

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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