The impact of extreme weather events on education

Type Journal Article - Journal of Population Economics
Title The impact of extreme weather events on education
Volume 30
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Page numbers 433-472
This paper analyzes the short- and long-term impact of extreme weather events on
educational outcomes in Mongolia. Our focus is on two extremely severe winters that
caused mass livestock mortality. We use household panel data with comprehensive
retrospective information on households’ historic experience with weather shocks. Exposure
to the weather shock significantly reduces the likelihood of being enrolled in mandatory
school two to three years after the shock. Similarly, it significantly reduces the probability of
completing basic education ten to eleven years after the shock. Both effects are driven by
children from herding households. Results are robust to measuring shock intensity with
district-level livestock mortality and climate data as well as household-level livestock losses.
Exposure to weather shocks during preschool age (as opposed to exposure during primary
and secondary school age) yields the worst consequences for educational attainment.
Overall, the evidence points toward income effects as the channel through which the shock
impacts education.

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