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Long-Term Consequences of Consumption Seasonality

Seasonality is a mainstay of life for rural households in developing countries. Most components of household livelihood portfolios -- income, expenditure, credit, wages, prices, food in- security -- follow a cyclical pattern rooted in the agricultural calendar. What are the long-run implications of seasonality in consumption for wellbeing? We address this question using a long-term panel data set from Tanzania. We use repeated measures of household-level consumption over a 3-year period in the early 1990s to model the annual consumption cycle as a function of household characteristics, and then match statistics from household-specific consumption profiles to health and labor outcomes observed 14 and 20 years later. We also test the implications of low and/or variable consumption in childhood for a range of anthropometric outcomes among the children eventually born to panel respondents, giving insight into possible inter-generational transmission of poor health outcomes related to seasonal food insecurity