Public Economics and Policy Seminar - Nicolas Berman (Aix Marseille School of Economics)
Sweet child of mine: income, health, and inequality
We study the effect of income shocks on child health and strategic investment across siblings using micro data from multiple waves of the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) spanning 56 developing countries. Variations in the world prices of locally produced crops are used as measures of local income. We find that: (i) temporary variations in income in utero and in the first year of life durably affect child health and long-term health investment; (ii) households allocate more resources
to the children born in good times relative to their siblings; (iii) the health of later-born siblings deteriorate and these siblings receive less investments. These within-household reallocations have important implications for child health inequality. At the regional level, aggregate health inequality is found to be larger when children are exposed to more volatile crop prices.