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Civil war, crop failure, and child stunting in Rwanda

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  • Akresh, Richard
  • Verwimp, Philip
  • Bundervoet, Tom

Abstract

Economic shocks at birth have lasting effects on children's health several years after the shock. The authors calculate height for age z-scores for children under age five using data from a Rwandan nationally representative household survey conducted in 1992. They exploit district and time variation in crop failure and civil conflict to measure the impact of exogenous shocks that children experience at birth on their height several years later. They find that boys and girls born after the shock in regions experiencing civil conflict are both negatively affected with height for age z-scores 0.30 and 0.72 standard deviations lower, respectively. Conversely, only girls are negatively affected by crop failure, with these girls exhibiting 0.41 standard deviation lower height for age z-scores and the impact is worse for girls in poor households. Results are robust to using sibling difference estimators, household level production, and rainfall shocks as alternative measures of crop failure.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4208.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4208

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Keywords: Youth and Governance; Population Policies; Rural Poverty Reduction; Children and Youth; Adolescent Health;

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  1. Janet Currie & Rosemary Hyson, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," NBER Working Papers 6999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 8061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Guidolin, Massimo & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2004. "Diamonds are Forever, Wars are Not: Is Conflict Bad for Private Firms?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4668, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Elizabeth Frankenberg & James P. Smith & Duncan Thomas, 2003. "Economic Shocks, Wealth, and Welfare," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(2).
  5. Thomas, Duncan & Lavy, Victor & Strauss, John, 1996. "Public policy and anthropometric outcomes in the Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 155-192, August.
  6. Futoshi Yamauchi, 2008. "Early Childhood Nutrition, Schooling, and Sibling Inequality in a Dynamic Context: Evidence from South Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 657-682.
  7. Behrman, Jere R, 1988. "Intrahousehold Allocation of Nutrients in Rural India: Are Boys Favored? Do Parents Exhibit Inequality Aversion?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 32-54, March.
  8. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  9. John Bellows & Edward Miguel, 2006. "War and Institutions: New Evidence from Sierra Leone," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 394-399, May.
  10. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," NBER Working Papers 8344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Alderman,Harold & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," FCND discussion papers 168, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  13. Verwimp, Philip, 2005. "An economic profile of peasant perpetrators of genocide: Micro-level evidence from Rwanda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 297-323, August.
  14. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
  15. Sharon L. Maccini & Dean Yang, 2008. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," NBER Working Papers 14031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Clay, Daniel & Reardon, Thomas & Kangasniemi, Jaakko, 1998. "Sustainable Intensification in the Highland Tropics: Rwandan Farmers' Investments in Land Conservation and Soil Fertility," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 351-77, January.
  17. Philip Verwimp & Jan Van Bavel, 2004. "Child Survival and the Fertility of Refugees in Rwanda after the Genocide," PRUS Working Papers 26, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
  18. Patricia Justino & Philip Verwimp, 2006. "Poverty Dynamics, Violent Conflict and Convergence in Rwanda," HiCN Working Papers 16, Households in Conflict Network.
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