We use childhood exposures to disasters as natural experiments inducing variations in adulthood outcomes. Following the fetal origin hypothesis, we hypothesize that children from households with greater exposure will have poorer health, schooling, and consumption outcomes. Employing a unique dataset from Bangladesh, we test this hypothesis for the 1970 cyclone that killed over 300,000 people in southern Bangladesh. We find that children surviving the cyclone experience significant health, schooling and consumption adversities, and during their adulthood, have lower probabilities of good health and primary schooling; and lower durations of good health, schooling and consumption. Such adversities are further heightened among the rural and less-educated households. Therefore, public programs benefiting the females and the poor, alongside the development of healthcare and schooling infrastructure, can be useful protective measures against the long-term harms of a disaster.

Shaikh M.S.U. Eskander, Edward B. Barbier, Long-term impacts of the 1970 cyclone in Bangladesh,
World Development, Volume 152, 2022, 105793, ISSN 0305-750X,

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