In spite of the vast importance of weather shocks for population processes, limited work has investigated the micro-level processes through which weather shocks influence the transition to adulthood in low-income contexts. This paper provides a conceptual overview and empirical investigation of how weather shocks impact the timing, sequencing, and characteristics of young women’s life course transitions in low-income rural settings. Drawing on the case of Malawi, we combine repeated cross-sections of georeferenced Demographic and Health Survey data with georeferenced climate and crop calendar data to assess how growing-season drought shocks affect young women’s life course transitions. Discrete-time event history analyses indicate that in this context, exposure to growing-season drought in adolescence has an accelerating effect on young women’s transitions into first unions—both marriage and cohabitation—and into first births within unions.
- event history analysis
- weather shocks
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)