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Seminar Series: Snaebjorn Gunnsteinsson, Agriculture and Resource Economics

Resilience to Early Life Shocks
When Feb 16, 2015
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 1101 Morrill Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
Attendees Liz Fein Karberg
Jaein Lee
Ken Leonard
Zhiyong Lin
Xiaoxiao Lu
Jean McGloin
Sara Mosher
Ashley Munger
Tyler Myroniuk
Rachel Shattuck
Andrew Williams
Riley Wilson
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About the Talk

Recent studies have documented the immediate and lasting effects of trauma in early life, but little is understood about how to protect children from these negative impacts. Protective effects are difficult to identify empirically because both preventative and corrective investments are endogenous choices. We leverage a unique combination of events, in which a tornado struck an area of northwest Bangladesh involved in a double-blind cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) of maternal and newborn vitamin A supplementation, along with detailed birth and mortality records and anthropometric measurements at 0-6 months, to test whether vitamin A supplementation mitigates the deleterious effects of experiencing a natural disaster in early life. Exposure to the tornado at 0-3 months had a negative impact on infants’ anthropometric outcomes, and increased the frequency of severe fevers. However, infants treated with vitamin A at birth through the RCT were largely protected from these effects. Maternal supplementation did not exhibit a similar protective capacity. Our results suggest that simple health interventions at birth can protect effectively against trauma in early life.

About the Speaker


Professor Gunnsteinsson’s work focuses on microeconomics in developing countries with an emphasis on empirical contract theory, risk, insurance, property rights and agriculture. I also work on human capital formation, behavioral economics and global public health. 

Visit Professor Gunnsteinsson's webpage

Please note that, at the present time, Morrill Hall is not accessible for handicapped individuals.

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