Past Seminar

Environmental Shocks in Ghana: An Improved Detection of their Impact on Child Health

Jun 30, 2011

About the Event

Environmental Shocks in Ghana: An Improved Detection of their Impact on Child Health
RFF Academic Seminar presented in conjunction with The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy

Vidisha Vachharajani

Download the Paper (PDF)


This paper uses Ghanaian household survey data to examine the link between
environmental factors and the long-term health status of children in Western Ghana by
exploiting the variation induced by a mining-based cyanide spill into a major water
body. Information in the survey about the region and cohort of birth gives the primary
source of identification. However, to get an improved spatial identification of exposed
children, I link GPS data to the survey data. A rich set of controls are included to allow
for a better resolution of omitted variable bias, by accounting for variables that can
potentially confound the impact estimate if left unidentified. I also examine quantile
treatment effects using a flexible specification, which allows for uniquely incorporating
the GPS information. Findings reveal that after controlling for birth region and cohort,
household, maternal and environmental factors, children born during the shock
in the WR are negatively affected with reduced height, and that this negative effect
persists through all the above (baseline and alternative) specifications. This effect
initially reduces in magnitude, as we begin adding controls, but stabilizes across specifications
once we include a larger set of control variables. A discussion motivated by the
appropriate clustering of standard errors of the shock impact coefficient is presented.

Thursday, June 30, 2011
12 - 1:30 p.m.

Lunch will be provided

First Floor Conference Center
1616 P St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

All seminars will be in the 7th Floor Conference Room at RFF, 1616 P Street NW.  Attendance is open, but involves pre-registration no later than two days prior to the event. For questions and to register to an event, please contact Griffin LeNoir at (tel. 202-328-5174). Updates to our academic seminars schedule will be posted at