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Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (2018)

How does drought affect child health outcomes in Zimbabwe ? : an econometric analysis.

Källmark, Lovisa

Titre : How does drought affect child health outcomes in Zimbabwe ? : an econometric analysis.

Auteur : Källmark, Lovisa,

Université de soutenance : Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Grade : Advanced level (A2E Environmental Economics and Management - Master’s Programme 2018

Résumé
This thesis contributes to the broader economic literature on income shocks and child health outcomes. Child health outcomes are known to be an important factor in determining the overall health, school results and productivity later on in life as an adult. The purpose of this study is to investigate the association between exposure to drought around the time of birth and child health outcomes in Zimbabwe. Drought is a relevant measure for an income shock since Zimbabwe is heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture that provides approximately 70 percent of the population with their livelihoods. The key measure for the child health outcome is the height-for-age value, known as chronic malnutrition. Furthermore, this paper examines if a gender-bias exists as well as if residing in the rural areas could be a negative risk factor for the drought chock. The main results indicate that moderate drought at the time of birth is associated with a negative deviations from the mean reference population’s height-for-age value. Meaning that the child’s growth would be negatively affected by the drought. The analysis could not establish if gender or urban versus rural status made the child more vulnerable to drought.
My findings are relevant for low‐income countries with prevalent levels of malnutrition where drought could affect food security and malnutrition levels, hence affect the human capital formation.

Mots Clés  : Zimbabwe, Height-for-age, Drought, Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index, Human capital

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Page publiée le 15 juin 2020