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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.

    ()
    (World Bank)

Abstract

Between 1993 and 1994, extremist militia groups carried out the extermination of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in the genocides of Burundi and Rwanda. Nearly one million people were killed and thousands were forcibly uprooted from their homes. Over the course of a few months, Kagera – a region in northwestern Tanzania – received more than 500,000 refugees from these wars. This region is home to a series of geographic natural barriers, which resulted in variation in refugee intensity. I exploit this variation to investigate the short and long run causal effects of hosting refugees on the outcomes of local children. Reduced-form estimates offer evidence of adverse impacts almost 1.5 years after the shock: a worsening of children’s anthropometrics of 0.3 standard deviations, an increase of 15 to 20 percentage points in the incidence of infectious diseases and an increase of roughly 7 percentage points in mortality for children under five. I also exploit intra- and inter-cohort variation and find that childhood exposure to this massive arrival of refugees reduced height in early adulthood by 1.8 cm (1.2%), schooling by 0.2 years (7.1%) and literacy by 7 percentage points (8.6%). Designs using the distance from the village to the border with Rwanda as an alternative instrumental strategy for refugee intensity support the findings. The estimates are robust across a variety of 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

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3468.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Development Economics, 2011, 2011, 96 (2), 391 - 408
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3468

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Keywords: human capital; civil conflicts; children; health; refugees; Africa;

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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. Mabiso, Athur & Maystadt, Jean-François & Vandercasteelen, Joachim & Hirvonen, Kalle, 2014. "Refugees, food security, and resilience in host communities: Transitioning from humanitarian assistance to development in protracted refugee situations :," 2020 Conference papers 2, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. 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.
  4. Maystadt, Jean-Francois, 2011. "Poverty reduction in a refugee-hosting economy: A natural experiment," IFPRI discussion papers 1132, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. 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.
  6. Christiaensen, Luc & De Weerdt, Joachim & Todo, Yasuyuki, 2013. "Urbanization and poverty reduction -- the role of rural diversification and secondary towns," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6422, The World Bank.
  7. 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.
  8. Bengtsson, Niklas, 2008. "Do Protestant Aid Organizations Aid Protestants Only?," Working Paper Series 2008:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. Richard Akresh & Leonardo Lucchetti & Harsha Thirumurthy, 2010. "Wars and Child Health: Evidence from the Eritrean-Ethiopian Conflict," HiCN Working Papers 89, Households in Conflict Network.

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