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Gender, race, and heterogeneous effects of epidemic malaria on human capital and income

Rawlings, S. B. (2016) Gender, race, and heterogeneous effects of epidemic malaria on human capital and income. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 64 (3). pp. 509-543. ISSN 1539-2988

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1086/684965


This article investigates the impact of exposure to a serious, unusual, and unforeseen malaria epidemic in northeast Brazil in 1938–40 on subsequent human capital attainment and income. Arguing the event was exogenous, the article exploits cohort and regional heterogeneity in exposure to identify effects. Results are consistent with differential mortality rates according to gender and socioeconomic status, such that heterogeneous selection and scarring effects are observed. Analyzing by gender alone, positive (selection) effects are found for men, and mixed (positive and negative) effects for women. Allowing for heterogeneity by race, selection effects persist for men. In contrast, positive (selection) effects are observed for nonwhite women, and negative (scarring) effects for white women. Results contribute to evidence suggesting that exposure to negative environmental shocks affects human capital attainment, while also suggesting it heterogeneously affects cohort composition.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Economics
ID Code:47246
Publisher:The University of Chicago Press


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