Extreme weather events and child height: Evidence from Mongolia

Type Working Paper
Title Extreme weather events and child height: Evidence from Mongolia
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
URL http://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/103360/1/796381453.pdf
We provide new evidence on the impact of one severe weather shock on child height in Mongolia. Our focus is on the extremely harsh winter - locally referred to as dzud - of 2009/10, which caused more than 23 percent of the national livestock to perish. This resulted in a food insecurity situation for many Mongolian households. Our analysis identifies causal effects by exploiting exogenous variation in the intensity of the shock across time and space. Results reveal that the shock significantly slowed the growth trajectory of exposed children from herding households. This negative effect is still observable three years after the shock and, hence, likely to persist. Moreover, we explore the role of socioeconomic characteristics and mitigation channels to cushion the impact of the weather shock. Wealthier households and households led by a more experienced head are better able to protect their children from the negative consequences of the 2009/10 winter shock. There are also gender-specific effects, with boys more strongly affected than girls. There is indicative evidence showing that the provision of emergency aid mitigates the negative consequences of the dzud. Moreover, child height has a significant and positive association with households' receipt of informal help. Our findings are robust to alternative measures of shock intensity.

Related studies