Natural Disaster Shocks: Does Household Response Impact Children’s Educational Achievement
Iyer, Ritika Narayan
Climate change has increased the prevalence and worsened the severity of adverse weather events around the world, demonstrated by more floods, droughts, and crop failures. According to the World Bank, natural disasters as a result of climate change disproportionately impact low- and middle-income countries. At a household level, natural disasters can generate potentially large shocks to family income and directly impact children’s wellbeing. Upon the realization of a shock, a household can respond by reducing consumption, utilizing savings and assets, or finding different sources of income. This paper examines the relationship between a household’s response to natural disasters and children’s educational outcomes, measured by test performance in multiple subjects.Using panel data collected between 2006 and 2013 from India as a part of the Young Lives: an International Study of Childhood Poverty project, this analysis estimates the differential impacts of exposure to various types of shocks and household responses on child educational achievement. This study utilizes an education production function model to estimate the relationship at both specific points in time and across years using fixed effects methodologies. The results do not show any consistently positive or negative effect of shock exposure or household response on child education outcomes over time. These findings suggest that there may be differential impacts of shocks and subsequent household responses by child age, shock severity, or child resilience, all of which offer relevant policy implications and opportunities for future research.
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