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Selective Mortality and the Long-term Effects of Early-life Exposure to Natural Disasters
Working Paper

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Asia Health Policy Program working paper # 50

04/20/2018

We analyze the effects of early-life shocks with varying degrees of severity on mortality and human capital outcomes in the Philippines. We exploit variations in typhoon exposure and the introduction of a short-term post-disaster relief policy. Severe
typhoons are associated with increased mortality and adverse long-term outcomes. Before the disaster relief policy, mortality from in utero exposure to severe typhoons was 10 percent, and survivors exhibited similar levels of human capital as the unaffected.
Once implemented, the policy appears to have mitigated the mortality effect of severe typhoons, and survivors have lower human capital in the long term.

Keywords: fetal origins hypothesis, selective mortality, long-term outcomes, Philippines, natural disasters, disaster relief

JEL codes: I12, I15, O15

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