Does rainfall improve health for children in developing countries? Sharon L. Maccini and Dean Yang (2008) hypothesize that higher rainfall will lead to higher incomes for rural household and higher incomes allows increased food purchases and more disposable income to be made available for health care purchases. The authors find that in Indonesia, “[w]omen with 20% higher rainfall (relative to normal local rainfall) in their year and location of birth are 3.8 percentage points less likely to self-report poor or very poor health, attain 0.57 centimeters greater height, complete 0.22 more grades of schooling, and live in households that score 0.12 standard deviations higher on an asset index.” Similar effects were not found for males however.
It seems to be the case that generating more income for poor households in developing countries is the best way to improve the health status of their female children.
- Sharon L. Maccini, Dean Yang (2008) “Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall” NBER WP #14031.