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Title:First and second generation impacts of shocks in early childhood: evidence from Latin America and Africa
Author(s):Caruso, German
Director of Research:Akresh, Richard S.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Akresh, Richard S.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Powers, Elizabeth; McMillen, Daniel P.; Sosa-Escudero, Walter
Department / Program:Economics
Discipline:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Shocks in early childhood
intergenerational transmission
Natural Disasters
Armed conflicts
Abstract:In this thesis, the impact of shocks in childhood on the first and second generation of individuals affected are examined. In the first chapter, the long-term effects and subsequent intergenerational transmission of exposure in childhood to the natural disasters that have occurred in Latin America in the last 100 years are examined taking a new comprehensive approach to study the impact of natural disasters by using data about all natural disasters that affected one continent in the last century. While the first chapter mainly focus on the impacts on education and labor outcomes, in the second chapter, the short, medium and long term effects on health and the subsequent intergenerational transmission of exposure in childhood to the Tanzania Flood of 1993 are examined by using a triple difference estimation with pre-even and post-event data which is unique as few studies of natural disasters have data bracketing a flooding event. Finally, the third chapter estimates the impact of the 1998-2000 Eritrea-Ethiopia armed conflict on subsequent health outcomes using detailed geographic information on households’ distance from war sites and compares the impact on children exposed in utero versus after birth. The individual abstracts of each chapter are provided below. Chapter 1: The Legacy of Natural Disasters: The Intergenerational Impact of 100 Years of Natural Disasters in Latin America. Natural disasters can have long lasting effects, but generalizing such effects can be challenging. This paper examines the long term effects and subsequent intergenerational transmission of exposure in childhood to the natural disasters that have occurred in Latin America in the last 100 years. The identification strategy exploits the exogenous variation in geographic location, timing and exposure of different birth cohorts to natural disasters. This study measures individuals’ exposure to the disaster based on the geographic location at birth to avoid any bias in the estimates due to possible selective migration caused by the disaster. The main results indicate that in utero and young children are the most vulnerable to natural disasters and suffer the most long-lasting negative effects including less human capital accumulation, worse health, lower income and less asset when they are adults. Furthermore, the results provide evidence of the intergenerational transmission of the shocks indicating that children born to mothers who had been exposed to natural disasters have less education and increased child labor. Chapter 2: Intergenerational Transmission of Shocks in Early Life: Evidence from the Tanzania Great Flood of 1993. This paper estimates the short, medium and long term effects on the 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. Chapter 3: Medium-Term Health Impacts of Shocks Experienced In Utero and After Birth: Evidence from Detailed Geographic Information on War Exposure. This paper estimates the impact of armed conflict on subsequent health outcomes using detailed geographic information on households’ distance from conflict sites-a more accurate measure of conflict exposure-and compares the impact on children exposed in utero versus after birth. The identification strategy relies on exogenous variation in the conflict’s geographic extent and timing as well as the exposure of different birth cohorts while in utero or after birth. Results show that war-exposed children subsequently have lower height-for-age Z-scores, and impacts using GPS information are 87-188% larger than if exposure is measured at the imprecise regional level. Effects of in utero and after birth exposure are comparable in magnitude, and children in the war instigating and losing country (Eritrea) suffer more than the winning nation (Ethiopia). Results are robust to including region-specific time trends, alternative conflict exposure measures, and addressing potential bias due to selective migration.
Issue Date:2015-01-21
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/73053
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 German Caruso
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-01-21
Date Deposited:2014-12


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