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Undernutrition, subsequent risk of mortality and civil war in Burundi

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  • Verwimp, Philip

Abstract

The paper investigates the effect of child undernutrition on the risk of mortality in Burundi. Using anthropometric data from a longitudinal survey (1998–2007) we find that undernourished children, measured by the height-for-age z-scores (HAZ) in 1998 had a higher probability to die during subsequent years. In order to address the problem of omitted variables correlated with both nutritional status and the risk of mortality, we use the length of exposure to civil war prior to 1998 as a source of exogenous variation in a child's nutritional status. Children exposed to civil war in their area of residence have worse nutritional status. The results indicate that one year of exposure translates into a 0.15 decrease in the HAZ, resulting in a 10% increase in the probability to die. For boys, we find a 0.34 decrease in HAZ per year of exposure, resulting in 25% increase in the probability to die. For girls, the results are statistically not significant at the usual thresholds. We show the robustness of our results and we derive policy conclusion for a nutrition intervention in times of conflict.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 10 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 221-231

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:10:y:2012:i:3:p:221-231

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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Keywords: Malnutrition; Mortality; Children; War; Africa; Instrumental variables;

References

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  1. Tom Bundervoet & Philip Verwimp & Richard Akresh, 2008. "Health and Civil War in Rural Burundi," Research Working Papers 5, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
  2. Alderman,Harold & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," FCND briefs 168, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. James Heckman, 2008. "Econometric causality," CeMMAP working papers CWP01/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. International Monetary Fund, 2007. "Burundi," IMF Staff Country Reports 07/46, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Alderman, Harold & Lokshin, Michael & Radyakin, Sergiy, 2011. "Tall claims: Mortality selection and the height of children in India," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 393-406.
  6. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
  7. Austin Nichols, 2007. "Causal inference with observational data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(4), pages 507-541, December.
  8. Mu, Ren & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2011. "Why does the Great Chinese Famine affect the male and female survivors differently? Mortality selection versus son preference," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 92-105, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Camelia Minoiu & Olga N. Shemyakina, 2012. "Armed conflict, household victimization, and child health in Côte d'Ivoire," Working Papers 245, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  2. Philip Verwimp & Juan Carlos Muñoz-Mora, 2013. "Returning Home after Civil War: Food security, nutrition and poverty among Burundian households," HiCN Working Papers 123, Households in Conflict Network.
  3. Tilman Brück & Patricia Justino & Philip Verwimp & Andrew Tedesco, 2013. "Measuring Conflict Exposure in Micro-Level Surveys," HiCN Working Papers 153, Households in Conflict Network.
  4. Nathalie E. J. Dijkman & Catrien Bijleveld & Philip Verwimp, 2014. "Sexual Violence in Burundi: Victims, perpetrators, and the role of conflict," HiCN Working Papers 172, Households in Conflict Network.

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