Bristol 'Next Generation' Visiting Researcher Dr Nkechi S. Owoo, University of Ghana, Ghana

nkechi owooEffects of Climate Change on Health Outcomes

12 February - 26 March 2023


Dr. Nkechi S. Owoo is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana. She is also a Research Associate with the Ghana node of the African Centre of Research on Inequality Research (ACEIR) and a Senior Research Fellow at the Environment for Development institute. Dr Owoo’s research focuses on spatial econometrics in addition to microeconomic issues in developing countries, including household behaviour, health, poverty and inequality, gender issues, population and demographic economics, as well as environmental sustainability. Her publications have been featured in Population Research and Policy Review,Journal of Demographic Economics, Journal of Marriage and Family, Feminist Economics, Oxford Development Studies, among others.  She is currently a Fellow at Future Africa, University of Pretoria, and Dr Owoo also represents the Africa region on the Council of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) for the period 2022 – 2025. Dr. Owoo received her Masters and PhD in Economics from Clark University, Massachusetts, in 2009 and 2012, respectively. 

Research Summary

My project focuses on the link between health, environmental sustainability, and wellbeing. I will be exploring the effects of climate change on a series of health outcomes using the most recent wave of the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS). I will also examine whether these relationships are moderated/ mediated by poverty status of households.  

I intend to explore the effects of exposure to extreme heat on health outcomes such as the frequency of hospital visits, mental health, skin problems, extreme fatigue, and injuries. I am also interested in the gendered effects of climate change (i.e., increasing distance to fetch water) on women’s experience of extreme fatigue, insect bites and hospital visits. Following a climate vulnerability index developed in collaboration with Prof David Gordon, my research will also focus on linkages between climate change vulnerability and mental health outcomes in Ghana. Finally, I will explore the effects of climate change adaptation (i.e., tree planting and mixed cropping) and mitigation (i.e., clean cooking fuels) on a series of welfare outcomes comprising food security and child malnutrition, and health outcomes (i.e., breathing problems, extreme fatigue, injuries, burns and skin problems). Where possible, these research questions will be explored for different subgroups of the population, e.g., by poverty status, age, gender, educational qualification, rural/urban residence, disability, among others, in order to show how inequalities shape impacts of climate change on health and welfare outcomes. 

Dr Owoo is hosted by Professor David Gordon in the School for Policy Studies.

Planned activities include: