'An Ill Wind that Blows No Girl Any Good': The Impacts of Climate-Induced Disease on Gender Inequality

Archibong, Belinda; Annan, Francis

Disease epidemics with climate links can worsen social inequality by increasing gender gaps in educational attainment through raising the direct and opportunity costs of investing in girls, particularly in poorer countries in the tropics. We investigate this hypothesis by examining the effects of sudden exposure to the 1986 meningitis epidemic in Niger on the gender gap in education. We document a significant reduction in years of education for school-aged girls relative to boys following the epidemic. We explore several channels underlying the results and find evidence highlighting income effects of epidemics on households and increased early marriage of girls.

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Academic Units
Economics (Barnard College)
Published Here
March 11, 2020


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Keywords: Education, Meningitis, Health, Human Capital, Gender Gap, Harmattan, Climate Change, Marriage, Bride-Price, Niger, Africa
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