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Tag Archives: Climate Change

A perfect storm: The effect of natural disasters on child health

By Cheyenne Danielle Quijano

Typhoons and their accompanying flooding have destructive effects, including an
increase in the risk of waterborne disease in children. Using a spatial regression discontinuity
design, I explore the immediate to short-term effects of flooding as a result
of Typhoon Labuyo on the incidence of diarrhea and acute respiratory infection in the
Philippines by comparing children living in a flooded barangay (town) to children living
just outside of the flooded area. I build on the existing literature by accounting for
both incidence and intensity of the typhoon’s flooding in my model. I construct this
new flooding measure using programming techniques and ArcGIS by manipulating data
collected by the University of Maryland’s Global Flood Monitoring System. This data
as well as health data from the 2013 Philippines National Demographic Health Surveys
were collected the day after Typhoon Labuyo left the Philippines, providing a unique
opportunity to explore the immediate impact of the typhoon on child health. Most of
my results are insignificant, but subgroup analyses show that the effect of flooding on
waterborne disease incidence is less impactful in the immediate term following a flood
and more impactful in the medium-term. This is important, because understanding
the detrimental health effects of flooding is of utmost importance, especially because
climate change will only increase the frequency and intensity of natural disasters.

Professor Erica M. Field, Faculty Advisor
Professor Michelle P. Connolly, Faculty Advisor

JEL classification: I150, O120, O130, Q540

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Global Warming and Obesity: The Effect of Ambient Temperature on BMI

By Aakash Jain

Previous research has shown that ambient temperature affects human metabolism and behavior. Inspired by these findings, this study examines the effect of lagged annual temperatures in the United States on average reported BMI. The results indicate that higher temperatures in the future will lead to increases in average BMI. A conservative estimate suggests that a 1 °C increase in temperature sustained for 10 years would result in a 0.15 unit increase in average BMI and an additional $15.5 billion in annual health care expenditure.

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Advisor: Billy Pizer | JEL Codes: Q5, Q54, I1, I10

Unitization of Oil Reserves in Alaska and the Supply Elasticity of a Common Pool Resource

By Emily Bailey

Unitization, a common but not omnipresent policy that is lauded in both the economics and environmental world for its efficiency, attempts to solve the “tragedy of the commons” common pool failure of oil production by creating a system in which all those with interests in one reserve produce jointly and split profits accordingly. This paper empirically demonstrates what other researchers have hypothesized – that unitization reduces the elasticity of supply with respect to price. It then extrapolates to potential impacts this policy could have on the environment at large by forecasting a future production path based on the model from the previous section. Finally, it demonstrates how unitization could slow the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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Advisor: Christopher Timmins | JEL Codes: Q38, Q48, Q54 | Tagged: Alaska, Climate Change, Oil, Oil Production, Oil Reserves, Unitization


Undergraduate Program Assistant
Matthew Eggleston

Director of the Honors Program
Michelle P. Connolly