Dust Exposure and Infant Mortality in West Africa

James Fenske, University of Oxford

Dust pollution in West Africa increases infant mortality. Employing differences in differences, we make three contributions. First, using data from several poor countries, we highlight the vulnerability of people with few resources, fragile health, and limited capacity to adopt avoidance behavior. Second, we examine prenatal and post-natal parental responses, and show evidence consistent with either compensating parental investments or greater availability of such investments. Despite these efforts, the health of surviving children is adversely affected. Third, we find declining effects over time, implying that societies are adapting. We find suggestive evidence that economic growth has contributed to this adaptation.

About the speaker
James Fenske is an Associate Professor in Economic History in the Department of Economics at the University of Oxford. He is a Deputy Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) at Oxford. He completed his PhD at Yale University in 2010. He has been at Oxford since 2010. His publications and working papers are available at www.jamesfenske.com.

Venue: Conference room (room 0.16 & 0.17)

Date: 03 March 2016

Time: 12:30 - 13:30