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Violent Conflict and Breastfeeding: The Case of Iraq

Listed author(s):
  • Diwakar, Vidya

    ()

    (Overseas Development Institute)

  • Malcolm, Michael

    ()

    (West Chester University of Pennsylvania)

  • Naufal, George S

    ()

    (Texas A&M University)

Registered author(s):

    This study explores the relationship between armed conflict and breastfeeding practices of Iraqi mothers. Using a unique pairing of the Iraq Body Count database, in conjunction with the 2006 and 2011 Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys for Iraq, we find that increases in conflict-related casualties are associated with a decline in breastfeeding incidence, with some mixed results on breastfeeding duration. We also explore a number of potential causal channels, including interactions with household wealth and accessibility of formula. The results are informative in the context of designing policy aimed at stabilizing the long-term health and productivity of populations in conflict areas.

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10937.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10937.

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    Length: 41 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2017
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10937
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    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. Tom Bundervoet & Philip Verwimp & Richard Akresh, 2009. "Health and Civil War in Rural Burundi," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
    3. Akresh, Richard & Lucchetti, Leonardo & Thirumurthy, Harsha, 2012. "Wars and child health: Evidence from the Eritrean–Ethiopian conflict," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 330-340.
    4. Emla Fitzsimons & Marcos Vera-Hernandez, 2013. "Food for Thought? Breastfeeding and Child Development," IFS Working Papers W13/31, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    5. Mansour, Hani & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Armed conflict and birth weight: Evidence from the al-Aqsa Intifada," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 190-199.
    6. Abada, Teresa S. J. & Trovato, Frank & Lalu, Nirannanilathu, 2001. "Determinants of breastfeeding in the Philippines: a survival analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 71-81, January.
    7. Gabriela Guerrero-Serdán, 2009. "The Effects of the War in Iraq on Nutrition and Health: An Analysis Using Anthropometric Outcomes of Children," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 09/01, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London.
    8. Judith Galtry, 1997. "Suckling and Silence in the USA: The Costs and Benefits of Breastfeeding," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 1-24.
    9. Pl mper, Thomas & Neumayer, Eric, 2006. "The Unequal Burden of War: The Effect of Armed Conflict on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(03), pages 723-754, July.
    10. Julie Smith & Lindy Ingham, 2005. "Mothers' Milk And Measures Of Economic Output," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 41-62.
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