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Civil wars beyond their borders: The human capital and health consequences of hosting refugees

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  • Baez, Javier E.

Abstract

In early 1994, Kagera - a region in northwestern Tanzania - was flooded by more than 500,000 refugees fleeing from the genocides of Burundi and Rwanda. I use this population shock and a series of topographic barriers that resulted in variation in refugee intensity to investigate the short- and long-run causal effects of hosting refugees on outcomes of local children. This strategy provides evidence of adverse impacts over one year after the shock: a worsening of children's anthropometrics (0.3 standard deviations), an increase in the incidence of infectious diseases (15-20 percentage points) and an increase in mortality for children under five (7 percentage points). I also find that intra- and inter-cohort variation in childhood exposure to the refugee crisis reduced height in early adulthood by 1.8Â cm (1.2%), schooling by 0.2Â years (7.1%) and literacy by 7 percentage points (8.6%). Designs using the distance to the border with Rwanda as an alternative identification strategy for refugee intensity support the findings. The estimates are robust across different samples, specifications and estimation methods and provide evidence of a previously undocumented indirect effect of civil wars on the well-being of children and subsequent economic growth in refugee-hosting communities.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
Pages: 391-408

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:96:y:2011:i:2:p:391-408

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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Keywords: Civil conflicts Refugees Children Human capital Health Sub-Saharan Africa;

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Cited by:
  1. Luc Christiaensen & Joachim Weerdt & Yasuyuki Todo, 2013. "Urbanization and poverty reduction: the role of rural diversification and secondary towns," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(4-5), pages 435-447, 07.
  2. Mayra Buvinic & Monica Das Gupta & Ursula Casabonne & Philip Verwimp, 2012. "Violent Conflict and Gender Inequality: An Overview," HiCN Working Papers 129, Households in Conflict Network.
  3. Bengtsson, Niklas, 2008. "Do Protestant Aid Organizations Aid Protestants Only?," Working Paper Series 2008:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Akresh, Richard & Lucchetti, Leonardo & Thirumurthy, Harsha, 2011. "Wars and Child Health: Evidence from the Eritrean-Ethiopian Conflict," IZA Discussion Papers 5558, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Camelia Minoiu & Olga N. Shemyakina, 2012. "Armed Conflict, Household Victimization, and Child Health in Côte d'Ivoire," HiCN Working Papers 115, Households in Conflict Network.
  6. Ecker, Olivier & Mabiso, Athur & Kennedy, Adam & Diao, Xinshen 22905, 2011. "Making agriculture pro-nutrition: Opportunities in Tanzania," IFPRI discussion papers 1124, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh & Isabel Ruiz & Carlos Vargas-Silva & Roger Zetter, 2012. "Assessing the Impacts and Costs of Forced Displacement : Volume 1. A Mixed Methods Approach," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16096, The World Bank.
  8. Maystadt, Jean-Francois, 2012. "Poverty Reduction in a Refugee-Hosting Economy. A Natural Experiment," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126259, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  9. Vani S. Kulkarni & Manoj Pandey & Raghav Gaiha, 2013. "MDGs and gender inequality," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 18813, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  10. Patricia Justino, 2012. "Nutrition, Governance and Violence: A Framework for the Analysis of Resilience and Vulnerability to Food Insecurity in Contexts of Violent Conflict," HiCN Working Papers 132, Households in Conflict Network.

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