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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - The Economic Journal
Title Long-run health repercussions of drought shocks: Evidence from South African homelands
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
I present new evidence from Africa that droughts are an important component of long-run variation in health human capital. Using Census data, I estimate effects of early childhood drought exposure on later-life disabilities among South Africans confined to homelands during apartheid. By exploiting 40 years of quasi-random variation in local droughts experienced by different cohorts in different districts, I find that drought exposure in infancy raises later-life disability rates by 3.5–5.2%, with effects concentrated in physical and mental disabilities, and largest for males. My findings are relevant for low-income settings where avoiding droughts through migration is costly.

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Copyright DataFirst, University of Cape Town