11.29.2012 - Marta Vicarelli

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ENSO and Mexican Children: Medium-Term Effects of Early-Life Weather Shocks on Cognitive and Health Outcomes

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11.29.2012 - Marta Vicarelli

  1. 1. ENSO and Mexican children Medium-term effects of early-life weather shocks on cognitive and health outcomes Arturo Aguilar Marta Vicarelli Harvard University Yale University November 29, 2012Aguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 1 / 63
  2. 2. Motivation Conditions affecting individuals at early stages of life tend to have long-term effects Health, education, socioeconomic status (Maccini and Yang, 2009) Physical and mental disabilities (Almond, 2006; Almond and Mazumder, 2011) Weather shocks are the most important self-reported risk faced by rural households (Skoufias, 1997; Dercon and Krishnan, 2000; Gine, Townsend and Vickery, 2008) El Ni˜o Southern Oscillation (ENSO) n Recurring climatic event with a 5 to 7 year cycle Affects hydro-meteorological patterns causing extreme weather events (e.g. droughts, floods, heat waves) Global impacts (Cane et al., 2004)Aguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 2 / 63
  3. 3. Research Questions 1 Estimate the effects of ENSO-related weather shocks in early-life on medium-term individual well-being (human capital formation): Cognitive development Health and physical development Motor skills 2 Investigate possible mechanisms through which weather shocks could be driving these results Income Nutrition Health 3 Assess the potential mitigating effects of a randomized poverty reduction intervention: Mexico’s Progresa Conditional Cash Transfer programAguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 3 / 63
  4. 4. Contributions and related literature 1 Long-term effects of shocks in early-childhood Maccini and Yang (2009), Almond (2006), Almond and Mazumder (2011) Contribution: Examines specific medium-term effects on human-capital formation (e.g. memory, language development) which might be driving long-term effects 2 Role of weather shocks Maccini and Yang (2009), Munshi (2003), Baez and Santos (2007) Contribution: Use ENSO-related extreme rain shocks at the end of the agricultural season to identify exogenous income shocks 3 Progresa’s effects Fernald et al. (2008), Fernald and Gertler (2005), Gertler (2004) Contribution: Determine if the Conditional Cash Transfers provided mitigation effects to children affected by the shocksAguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 4 / 63
  5. 5. A glimpse at the resultsMain ResultsFour to five years after the shock, exposed children show: Lower cognitive abilities (11 to 21 percent) Receptive language, working memory, and visual-spatial processing Lower weight (0.28 to 0.38 kg) and lower height (1.1 to 1.8 cm) Minor reduction in gross motor skillsAguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 5 / 63
  6. 6. A glimpse at the resultsMechanismsThe ENSO-related weather shock had contemporaneous and persistent effects Income: contraction up to 2 years after the shock Food consumption and diet composition: negatively affected Health: no significant self-reported effect immediately after the shockRole of Progresa No evidence of Progresa’s mitigating effects has been foundAguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 6 / 63
  7. 7. Outline1 Background2 Data3 Empirical specification4 Results5 Mechanisms6 The role of Progresa7 ConclusionsAguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 7 / 63
  8. 8. El Ni˜o Southern Oscillation n ENSO is a non-regular cyclical climatic pattern associated to changes in tropical Pacific Ocean sea surface temperature and pressure. ENSO generates weather extremes across the globe, especially in countries bordering the Pacific Ocean. El Ni˜o 1997-1998 n La Ni˜a 1998-1999 n Sizeable effects in weather-sensitive industries (e.g. fishing and agriculture) (Cane et al., 2004) Large effects for developing countries that rely on rain-fed agriculture (90% of households in our sample) Use extreme floods during the harvest season as exogenous income shocksAguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 8 / 63
  9. 9. El Ni˜o Southern Oscillation nFigure: Satellite image showing sea surface heights relative to normal conditions. Red andwhite areas are related to above average sea surface temperatures and blue and purple areas tobelow average sea surface temperaturesAguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 9 / 63
  10. 10. Outline1 Background2 Data3 Empirical specification4 Results5 Mechanisms6 The role of Progresa7 ConclusionsAguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 10 / 63
  11. 11. Data: Weather Gridded precipitation data Source: UEA CRU TS2p1 (Mitchell, 2005) Temporal resolution: monthly Spatial resolution: 0.5 x 0.5 degrees We calculate the Monthly Standardized Anomaly Anomaly = difference with respect to 1960-1999 average levels Standardized = measured in standard deviation terms Weather shock definition: rain shock = 1 if standardized anomaly for Sep-Oct > 0.7 Sensitivity tests using different thresholdsAguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 11 / 63
  12. 12. Data: Weather Standardized anomaly is above 0.7 about 16% of the time Standardized anomaly distribution (Sept-Oct)Aguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 12 / 63
  13. 13. Data: Weather Monthly Precipitation Standardized Anomalies 4 Growing Season A M J JJ A S O N 2 0 -2 97 98 99 YearFigure: Maize calendar: Planting season (Apr-Jun). Moisture sensitive season(Jul-Aug). Maturation and Harvesting (Sep-Nov)Aguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 13 / 63
  14. 14. Data: Weather Precipitation Standardized Anomalies (UEA CRU Ts2p1) 1999 30˚N 25˚N Latitude 20˚N 15˚N 120˚W 115˚W 110˚W 105˚W 100˚W 95˚W 90˚W Longitude Oct 1999 -2.4 -2 -1.6 -1.2 -0.8 -0.4 0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 2 2.4 precipitationAguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 14 / 63
  15. 15. Data: Weather We spatially joined Weather and Socioeconomic Data 24°00"N 30˚N 22°00"N 25˚N Latitude 20°00"N 20˚N 15˚N 18°00"N 120˚W 115˚W 110˚W 105˚W 100˚W 95˚W 90˚W LongitudeOct 1999 104°00"W 102°00"W 100°00"W 98°00"W 96°00"W -2.4 -2 -1.6 -1.2 -0.8 -0.4 0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 2 2.4 precipitationAguilar & Vicarelli (Harvard, Yale) ENSO and Mexican children November 29, 2012 15 / 63

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