IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/csa/wpaper/2010-39.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Live aid revisited: long-term impacts of the 1984 Ethiopian famine on children

Author

Listed:
  • Stefan Dercon
  • Catherine Porter

Abstract

In 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Dercon & Catherine Porter, 2010. "Live aid revisited: long-term impacts of the 1984 Ethiopian famine on children," CSAE Working Paper Series 2010-39, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2010-39
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:99547e11-17f1-432d-a7ee-2c4c46929def
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2006. "Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 450-474, July.
    2. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 697-812, Elsevier.
    3. Zhehui Luo & Ren Mu & Xiaobo Zhang, 2006. "Famine and Overweight in China ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(3), pages 296-304.
    4. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 15, pages 1315-1486, Elsevier.
    5. 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.
    6. 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 1006-1026, June.
    7. 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.
    8. O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), 2011. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4.
    9. O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), 2011. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 5.
    10. Cormac Ó Gráda, 2007. "Making Famine History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 5-38, March.
    11. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    13. Deaton, Angus & Arora, Raksha, 2009. "Life at the top: The benefits of height," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 133-136, July.
    14. Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 2.
    15. Bound, John & Solon, Gary, 1999. "Double trouble: on the value of twins-based estimation of the return to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 169-182, April.
    16. Michael P. Murray, 2006. "Avoiding Invalid Instruments and Coping with Weak Instruments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 111-132, Fall.
    17. T. Paul Schultz & John A. Strauss (ed.), 2008. "Handbook of Development Economics," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 5.
    18. Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan, 2008. "Health over the Life Course," Handbook of Development Economics, in: T. Paul Schultz & John A. Strauss (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 54, pages 3375-3474, Elsevier.
    19. Chen, Yuyu & Zhou, Li-An, 2007. "The long-term health and economic consequences of the 1959-1961 famine in China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 659-681, July.
    20. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther & Postel-Vinay, Gilles & Watts, Tim, 2007. "Long Run Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in 19th Century France," CEPR Discussion Papers 6140, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Stefan Dercon & Catherine Porter, 2014. "Live Aid Revisited: Long-Term Impacts Of The 1984 Ethiopian Famine On Children," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 927-948, 08.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Famine; human development; Ethiopia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, 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, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2010-39. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/csaoxuk.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Julia Coffey (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/csaoxuk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.