The health consequences of aerial spraying illicit crops: The case of Colombia.
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Journal of health economics, ISSN: 1879-1646, Vol: 54, Page: 147-160
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This paper exploits variations in aerial spraying across time and space in Colombia and employs a panel of individual health records in order to study the causal effects of the aerial spraying of herbicides (glyphosate) on short-term health-related outcomes. Our results show that exposure to the herbicide used in aerial spraying campaigns increases the number of medical consultations related to dermatological and respiratory illnesses, as well as the number of miscarriages. These findings are robust to the inclusion of individual fixed effects, which compare the prevalence of these medical conditions for the same person under different levels of exposure to the herbicide used in the aerial spraying program over a period of 5 years. Also, our results are robust to controlling for the extent of illicit coca cultivation in the municipality of residence.