IZA DP No. 6354: Persistent Impact of Natural Disasters on Child Nutrition and Schooling: Evidence from the 1999 Colombian Earthquake
This paper studies the impact of the 1999 Colombian Earthquake on child nutrition and schooling. The identification strategy combines household survey data with event data on the timing and location of the earthquake, exploiting the exogenous exposure of children to the shock. The paper uniquely identifies both the short- and medium-term impacts of the earthquake, combining two cross-sectional household surveys collected before the earthquake and two cross-sectional household surveys collected one and six years after the earthquake. Colombia provides a unique setting for our study because the government launched a very successful reconstruction program after the earthquake. Findings report a strong negative impact of the earthquake on child nutrition and schooling in the short-term. Relevantly, amid the aid received by the affected area, the negative consequences of the earthquake persist with a lesser degree in the medium-term, particularly for boys.