Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study


Long-run Consequences of Exposure to Natural Disasters


We utilize the individual-level World War I Draft Registration Cards matched to late-nineteenth century hurricane paths and the 1940 U.S. Census to explore whether fetal and early childhood exposure to stress caused by hurricanes affects human capital development and labor market outcomes in adulthood. Difference-in-differences estimates indicate that white males who were born in the South and experienced a hurricane either in utero or as infants had lower income at ages 42 to 53. They are robust to alternate specifications of either the treatment or outcome variables, as well as changes in the tolerance for imperfectly matched historical data

Report No.: HIAS-E-36
Author(s): Krzysztof Karbownik(a)
Anthony Wray(b)
Affiliation: (a) Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University
(b) Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Hitotsubashi University
Issued Date: November 2016
Keywords: Prenatal stress, natural disasters, labor market outcomes
JEL: I10, J24, Q54