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The Long-Term Economic Impact of In Utero and Postnatal Exposure to Malaria

By Alan I. Barreca

Abstract

I use an instrumental-variables identification strategy and historical data from the United States to estimate the long-term economic impact of in utero and postnatal exposure to malaria. My research design matches adults in the 1960 Decennial Census to the malaria death rate in their respective state and year of birth. To address potential omitted-variables bias and measurement-error bias, I use variation in "malaria-ideal" temperatures to instrument for malaria exposure. My estimates indicate that in utero and postnatal exposure to malaria led to considerably lower levels of educational attainment and higher rates of poverty later in life.

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