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An assessment of the effects of the 2002 food crisis on children's health in Malawi

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  • Hartwig, R.
  • Grimm, M.

Abstract

In 2002 Malawi experienced a serious shortage of cereals due to adverse climatic conditions. The World Food Programme assumed that about 2.1 to 3.2 million people were threatened of starvation at that time. However, not much research has been undertaken to investigate the actual consequences of this crisis. In particular, little is known about how the crisis affected the health status of children. Obviously, quantifying the health impact of such a crisis is a serious task given the lack of data and the more general problem of relating outcomes to specific shocks and policies. In this paper a difference-in-difference estimator is used to quantify the impact of the food crisis on the health status of children. The findings suggest that at least in the short run, there was neither a significant impact on child mortality nor on malnutrition. This would suggest that the shock might have been less severe than initially assumed and that the various policy interventions undertaken at the time have been effective or at least sufficient to counteract the immediate effects of the crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Hartwig, R. & Grimm, M., 2010. "An assessment of the effects of the 2002 food crisis on children's health in Malawi," ISS Working Papers - General Series 18704, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:euriss:18704
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grimm, Michael & Harttgen, Kenneth & Klasen, Stephan & Misselhorn, Mark, 2008. "A Human Development Index by Income Groups," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 2527-2546, December.
    2. Germano Mwabu, 2009. "The Production of Child Health in Kenya: A Structural Model of Birth Weight," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 18(2), pages 212-260, March.
    3. Akresh, Richard & Verwimp, Philip, 2006. "Civil War, Crop Failure, and the Health Status of Young Children," IZA Discussion Papers 2359, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    5. John Hoddinott, 2006. "Shocks and their consequences across and within households in Rural Zimbabwe," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 301-321.
    6. Takashi Yamano & Harold Alderman & Luc Christiaensen, 2005. "Child Growth, Shocks, and Food Aid in Rural Ethiopia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(2), pages 273-288.
    7. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    8. John R. Moran & Kosali Ilayperuma Simon, 2004. "Income and the Use of Prescription Drugs by the Elderly: Evidence from the Notch Cohorts," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 66, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    9. Michael Grimm, 2008. "Food Price Inflation and Children's Schooling," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 844, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Gautam Hazarika & Basudeb Guha-Khasnobis, 2007. "Household Access to Microcredit and Children's Food Security in Rural Malawi: A Gender Perspective," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2007-87, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2001. "Child Growth in the Time of Drought," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(4), pages 409-436, September.
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    Keywords

    Malawi; child mortality; food crisis; malnutrition;

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