Julian Wichert, Gottfried Wilhlem Leibnitz-Universität Hannover

Natural Disasters, Education and Health - Impacts and Resilience

Individual living conditions and adverse environmental factors early in life have been shown to affect socio-economic outcomes and attitudes in later life. However, little is known whether temporary shocks such as extreme weather have long-lasting e
ects on human capital that persist

into adulthood. This paper sheds new light on this question by using a combination of data from a large cognitive skills survey spanning more than 25 000 individuals in 10 countries over the birth cohorts from 1946 to 1997 with retrospective information about weather conditions and extreme events at the local level during early childhood. The analysis provides evidence that droughts and coldwaves had a long-lasting negative impact on education outcomes, in particular for women. The findings partly extend to cognitive skills, however, to a lesser degree which suggests that weather events had smaller permanent effects as individuals coped with reduced school attainment.