ISER Working Paper Series 2020-16
Taking cover: human capital accumulation in the presence of shocks and health insurance
15 Dec 2020
Using the expansion of a large-scale health insurance program in Mexico and variation in local rainfall levels, I estimate whether the program-induced increase in healthcare coverage protected the educational attainment of primary school children in the event of adverse climatic shocks. Results show that the universalization of healthcare mitigated the negative effect of atypical rainfall on test scores, particularly in more marginalized and rural areas. An analysis of the mechanisms at play shows a reduced incidence of sickness among children, lower demand for their time, and higher stability in household consumption among program-eligible families exposed to rainfall shocks.