The impact of timing of in utero drought shocks on birth outcomes in rural households: evidence from Sierra Leone

Olukorede Abiona*, Joseph B. Ajefu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of timeline-bound fetal exposure to drought shocks on birth outcomes in rural Sierra Leone. We link repeated cross-section birth record data across 11 years from the Sierra Leone Demographic and Health Surveys to district-level geolocation precipitation data from the University of Delaware weather repository. The methodology uses spatial distribution of precipitation across districts to identify the impacts of extreme droughts on birth outcomes. This study reinforces both harvest and direct gestation as maternal nutrition pathways for the impact of drought shocks on birth outcomes. Results also show that adverse in utero shock impacts are concentrated among poorer households and may be mitigated by antenatal care services.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Population Economics
Early online date7 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Oct 2022

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