Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/215799
Authors: 
Barron, Kai
Gamboa, Luis F.
Rodríguez-Lesmes, Paul
Year of Publication: 
2019
Citation: 
[Journal:] The Journal of Development Studies [ISSN:] 1743-9140 [Publisher:] Taylor & Francis [Place:] London [Volume:] 55 [Year:] 2019 [Issue:] 4 [Pages:] 620-644
Abstract: 
Epidemics tend to have a debilitating influence on the lives of directly afflicted families. However, the presence of an epidemic can also change the behaviour and outcomes of those not directly affected. This paper makes use of a short, sharp, unexpected epidemic to examine the behavioural response of the public to a sudden shift in the perceived risk to one’s health and mortality. Our analysis finds that unafflicted school students change their behaviour substantially, affecting important life outcomes. In particular, we find that between 1.9 and 4.7 fewer students, out of a typical cohort of 47 pupils, sit their school leaving examination for every additional 10 cases of severe Dengue per 10 000 inhabitants in a municipality. We rule out several possible mechanisms, leaving an increase in the salience of the disease’s risks as a plausible explanation for our findings.
Subjects: 
health
health risks
education
human capital
Dengue
Colombia
JEL: 
I12
I15
I20
D80
Published Version’s DOI: 
Document Type: 
Article
Document Version: 
Accepted Manuscript (Postprint)

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