The impact of timing of in utero drought shocks on birth outcomes in rural households: evidence from Sierra Leone

Abiona, Olukorede and Ajefu, Joseph (2023) The impact of timing of in utero drought shocks on birth outcomes in rural households: evidence from Sierra Leone. Journal of Population Economics, 36 (3). pp. 1333-1362. ISSN 0933-1433

s00148-022-00926-w.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview
Official URL:


This paper investigates the impact of timeline-bound fetal exposure to drought shocks on birth outcomes in rural Sierra Leone. We link repeated cross-section birth record data across 11 years from the Sierra Leone Demographic and Health Surveys to district-level geolocation precipitation data from the University of Delaware weather repository. The methodology uses spatial distribution of precipitation across districts to identify the impacts of extreme droughts on birth outcomes. This study reinforces both harvest and direct gestation as maternal nutrition pathways for the impact of drought shocks on birth outcomes. Results also show that adverse in utero shock impacts are concentrated among poorer households and may be mitigated by antenatal care services.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: We are very grateful for very valuable comments from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Business Research Grant Committee members. We also thank seminar participants at the International Health Economic Association (iHEA) Congress 2021. We wish to express our deep appreciation to the UTS Business Research Grant (BRG) Committee for the financial support to carry out this research. This project received ethics approval from the UTS Human Research Ethics Committee (UTS HREC REF NO. ETH18-2507). We express our appreciation to editor Alfonso Flores-Lagunes and two anonymous referees for very insightful comments and feedback which were instrumental to the transformation of the paper during the review process. The usual disclaimer applies. Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions
Uncontrolled Keywords: Birthweight, Harvests, Gestation, Antenatal care, Sierra Leone
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2022 13:55
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2023 08:30

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics