The Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Plentiful Rainfall on Cognitive Development in Viet Nam
We examine the impact of exposure to plentiful rainfall while in utero on the cognitive development of the same children from ages 5 to 15 from the Young Lives Project in Viet Nam. Using variations in the month and place of birth, we show that positive income shocks, proxied by above-average rainfall, are associated with better cognitive development up to age 8. The effect is more pronounced when positive shocks occurr early in gestation. However, we find that such positive effects are not sustained in the longer term and are completely absent at ages 10, 12, and 15. Our results call for effective and early policy interventions providing a sustained pathway for the cognitive development of children in weather disaster-prone regions.