Seminar by Rong Fu (July 28)
Let me inform you of the following research seminar.
Date: July 28, 2022
Venue: Seminar Room B, 11th floor, Bldg. No. 2, & Zoom
Speaker: Rong Fu (Waseda University)
Organizer: Takuya Hasebe
Title: In Utero Exposure to Radiation Fear and Birth Outcomes: Evidence from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident
Abstract: We study the effects of exposure to radiation fear in utero on health at birth and five years later, using universal birth records linked to Censuses in Japan. We are the first to assess maternal stress due to a risk factor that is intangible and uncertain—radiation exposure. We leverage the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in 2011 and create a quasi-experimental setting by focusing on children whose expected birthdates were within a 280-day window to the accident. We find radiation fear in utero causes a 30-gram decrease in birth weight, with a 19% and 38% increase in the risks of low birth weight and preterm delivery, respectively. The effects are more pronounced if expectant mothers are less educated or have toddlers, and if expectant fathers work in agriculture, indicating that the ability to collect information is important for stress alleviation and that food contamination is the main source of radiation fear. The findings have immediate implications for offspring health loss owing to maternal stress from intangible risk factors, such as infectious viruses.
* Please contact the organizer via email, if you'd like to participate in the online seminar.
If you are interested in upcoming seminars, please visit the website of SIHS Seminar Series.