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Surviving the Genocide: The Impact of the Rwandan Genocide on Child Mortality

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  • Federico Ciani
  • Gianna Claudia Giannelli

Abstract

Between April and July 1994 Rwanda experienced a tremendous wave of inter-ethnic violence that caused at least 500,000 deaths. Combining birth history data drawn from the 2000 Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey with prefecture-level information on the intensity of the conflict, we examine the impact of the civil war on infant and child mortality. War exposure is measured exploiting the differential effects of timing of birth and genocide intensity at the household and geographic level. Considering both in utero and postnatal war exposure, we estimate discrete time proportional hazard models of child mortality for the exposed and the unexposed birth cohorts. We find large positive effects of exposure to the conflict on infant and child mortality. Moreover, restricting our sample to the survivors, we find that child mortality is significantly impacted by war exposure, increasing the hazard rate by nearly 6 percentage points on average. This result holds true also for children who were only exposed while in utero. This evidence points to the existence of long-term disruptive effects on the cohorts of children exposed to the violence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA in its series CHILD Working Papers Series with number 20.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wchild:20

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Keywords: genocide; child mortality; child health; survival analysis; Rwanda;

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  1. Akresh, Richard & de Walque, Damien, 2008. "Armed Conflict and Schooling: Evidence from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide," IZA Discussion Papers 3516, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bas van der Klaauw & Limin Wang, 2005. "Child Mortality In Rural India," Working Papers id:136, eSocialSciences.
  3. Olga Shemyakina, 2006. "The Effect of Armed Conflict on Accumulation of Schooling: Results from Tajikistan," HiCN Working Papers 12, Households in Conflict Network.
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  5. Akresh, Richard & Verwimp, Philip & Bundervoet, Tom, 2007. "Civil war, crop failure, and child stunting in Rwanda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4208, The World Bank.
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  7. Richard Akresh & Sonia Bhalotra & Marinella Leone & Una Okonkwo Osili, 2012. "War and Stature: Growing Up during the Nigerian Civil War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 273-77, May.
  8. Sharon Maccini & Dean Yang, 2009. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1006-26, June.
  9. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "Easy Estimation Methods for Discrete-Time Duration Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 129-38, February.
  10. Gianmarco León, 2012. "Civil Conflict and Human Capital Accumulation: The Long-term Effects of Political Violence in Perú," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(4), pages 991-1022.
  11. Xin Meng & Nancy Qian, 2009. "The Long Term Consequences of Famine on Survivors: Evidence from a Unique Natural Experiment using China's Great Famine," NBER Working Papers 14917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Mukesh Eswaran, 2002. "The empowerment of women, fertility, and child mortality: Towards a theoretical analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 433-454.
  13. Patricia Justino & Philip Verwimp, 2008. "Poverty Dynamics, Violent Conflict and Convergence in Rwanda," Research Working Papers 4, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
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