Live aid revisited: long-term impacts of the 1984 Ethiopian famine on children
AbstractIn 1984, the world was shocked at the scale of a famine in Ethiopia that caused over half a million deaths, making it one of the worst in recent history. The mortality impacts are clearly significant. But what of the survivors? This paper provides the first estimates the long-term impact of the famine twenty years later, on the height of young adults aged 17–25 who experienced this severe shock in-utero and as infants during the crisis. Improving methodologically on other studies, famine intensity is measured at the household level, while impacts are assessed using a difference-indifferences comparison across siblings. We find that by adulthood, affected children who were under the age of 36 months at the peak of the crisis are significantly shorter than the older cohort, by at least 3cm. They are also less likely to have completed primary school, and more likely to have experienced recent illness. Indicative calculations show that this may lead to income losses of between 3% and 8% per year over their lifetime. The evidence also suggests that the relief operations at the time made little difference.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2010-39.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Famine; human development; Ethiopia;
Other versions of this item:
- Stefan Dercon & Catherine Porter & Maria Porter, 2010. "Live aid revisited: long-term impacts of the 1984 Ethiopian famine on children," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2010-39, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Dercon, Stefan & Porter, Catherine, 2012. "Live aid revisited: long-term impacts of the 1984 Ethiopian famine on children," CEPR Discussion Papers 9033, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2010-12-18 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2010-12-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2010-12-18 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Beegle Kathleen & Joachim De Weerdt & Stefan Dercon, 2007.
"Orphanhood and the long-run impact on children,"
CSAE Working Paper Series
2007-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
- Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Timothy M. Watts, 2007. "Long Run Health Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in 19th Century France," NBER Working Papers 12895, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cormac Ó Gráda, 2006.
"Making Famine History,"
200610, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Sven Neelsen & Thomas Stratmann, 2010.
"Effects of Prenatal and Early Life Malnutrition: Evidence from the Greek Famine,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
2994, CESifo Group Munich.
- Neelsen, Sven & Stratmann, Thomas, 2011. "Effects of prenatal and early life malnutrition: Evidence from the Greek famine," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 479-488, May.
- Webb, Patrick & von Braun, Joachim & Yohannes, Yisehac, 1992. "Famine in Ethiopia: policy implications of coping failure at national and household levels," Research reports 92, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Stefan Dercon, 2011.
"Social Protection, Efficiency and Growth,"
Economics Series Working Papers
WPS/2011-17, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Janet Currie & Tom Vogl, 2012.
"Early-Life Health and Adult Circumstance in Developing Countries,"
1454, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Janet Currie & Tom Vogl, 2013. "Early-Life Health and Adult Circumstance in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, 05.
- Janet Currie & Tom Vogl, 2012. "Early-Life Health and Adult Circumstance in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 18371, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cormac Ó Gráda, 2011. "Fetal Origins, Childhood Development, and Famine: A Bibliography and Literature Review," Working Papers 201128, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Clarke, Daniel J. & Hill, Ruth Vargas, 2013. "Cost-benefit analysis of the african risk capacity facility:," IFPRI discussion papers 1292, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Rabassa, Mariano & Skoufias, Emmanuel & Jacoby, Hanan G., 2012. "Weather and child health in rural Nigeria," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6214, The World Bank.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard Payne).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.