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The global impact of coastal water contamination on economic development


Healthy coastal waters play a critical role for global food security. Worldwide, the ocean sustains the livelihood of more than 3 billion people, the vast majority of which live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Worryingly, recent evidence shows that human contamination of coastal waters is having a significant impact on marine life. With a large share of communities relying on fishing for survival, it is likely that coastal water contamination is already disrupting local socio-economic development in LMICs. However, knowledge about this phenomenon remains highly limited. GLOBCOADEV will provide novel insights into the causal effect of coastal water contamination on economic development. Using a novel approach exploiting exogenous variation in coastal water contamination determined by rivers' release and by climate change, we will identify this effect for the last five decades and at a global scale for all LMICs. By gathering a wide array of micro-level datasets, ranging from household surveys to satellite imaging, and applying advanced micro-econometric techniques, we will pursue three major objectives: 1) to provide the first global evidence of the effect of coastal water contamination on early-childhood development, focusing in particular on the role of nutrition; 2) to determine how coastal water contamination affects local economic activities, concentrating on the pattern of fishing and on indicators of overall economic development; 3) to investigate side effects of coastal water contamination that are impacting local economic development, which include changes in political attitudes, the insurgence of violence, and rural-urban migration. GLOBCOADEV will not only fill an important gap in the literature, but also inform the design of policies protecting the environment. As highlighted by UN's Sustainable Development Goals, knowledge in this area is crucially needed in these challenging times for the ocean.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 370 996,00
Campus De Campolide
1099 085 Lisboa

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Continente Área Metropolitana de Lisboa Área Metropolitana de Lisboa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00