Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type

Restricted Thesis - USF access only

Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Yaniv Stopnitzky

Second Advisor

Jesse Anttila-Hughes


Approximately 20% of children under the age of five are stunted and 7% of children under the age of five are wasted, disproportionally impacting children in low and middle income countries. We hypothesize that local fishing conditions contribute to the nutritional well-being of children in coastal communities. This paper uses exogenous shocks to capture the impact of fishing conditions on eight child health outcomes for 45,000 children in 23 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia from 2002 to 2011. We generate monthly fishing conditions using geospatial satellite data from the NASA Aqua MODIS and Terra MODIS satellites and combine it with geo-coded, monthly child health data from USAID’s Demographic Health Survey. Results show that three months of better fishing conditions improves weight-for-age, weight-for-height, and BMI-for-age by 0.18 standard deviations and reduces the probability of being stunted by 2.5 percentage points, or 20.5 percent. Nine months of better fishing conditions during pregnancy causes babies to be born 66 grams heavier and 200 grams heavier if the child is born into a poor family.

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