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Your Environment. Your Health.

Climate variability and educational attainment: Evidence from rural Ethiopia

Climate Change and Human Health Literature Portal

Randell H, Gray C
Global Environmental Change. 41: 111-123

This paper examines the effects of climate variability on schooling outcomes in rural Ethiopia. Investments in education serve as an important pathway out of poverty, yet reduced agricultural productivity due to droughts or temperature shocks may affect educational attainment if children receive poorer nutrition during early childhood, are required to participate in household income generation during schooling ages, or if households can no longer pay for school-related expenses. We link longitudinal socioeconomic, demographic, and schooling data from the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey to high-resolution gridded climate data to measure exposure to temperature and precipitation relative to historical norms. We then estimate a set of multivariate regression models to understand how climate variability impacts grade attainment and school enrollment. Results indicate that early life climatic conditions - namely milder temperatures during all seasons and greater rainfall during the summer agricultural season - are associated with an increased likelihood of a child having completed any education. In addition, greater summer rainfall during both early life and school ages is associated with having completed any schooling as well as with attending school at the time of the survey. These findings suggest that future climate change may reduce children's school participation in rural Sub-Saharan Africa, slowing progress toward human development goals and poverty alleviation. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Expand Collapse Abstract

Resource Description

  • Food Security, Precipitation, Temperature
    • Food Security: Crop/Plant Food Security
    • Temperature: Heat
  • Rural
  • Non-United States
    • Non-United States: Africa
  • Developmental Impact
    • Developmental Impact: Other Developmental Impact, Specify
      • Other Developmental Impact, Specify: Educational Attainment
  • Research Article
  • Communication, Sociodemographic Vulnerability, Vulnerable Population
    • Communication : Community/Disease Advocacy/Non-Governmental
    • Vulnerable Population: Children, Low Socioeconomic Status, Workers, Other Vulnerable Population, Specify
      • Other Vulnerable Population, Specify: Farmers
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