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Civil War, Crop Failure, and the Health Status of Young Children

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  • Akresh, Richard

    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

  • Verwimp, Philip

    (ISS, Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

Economic shocks at birth have lasting impacts on children’s health several years after the shock. We calculate height for age z-scores for children under age five using data from a Rwandan nationally representative household survey conducted in 1992. We 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. We find that girls born after a shock in a region experiencing these events exhibit 0.72 standard deviations lower height for age z-scores and the impact is worse for poor households. There is no impact of these shocks on boys’ health status. Results are robust to using household level production and rainfall shocks as alternative measures of crop failure. The analysis also contributes to the debate on the economic conditions prevailing on the eve of the Rwandan genocide.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2359
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    Cited by:

    1. Renate Hartwig & Michael Grimm, 2009. "An Assessment of the Effects of the 2002 Food Crisis on Children’s Health in Malawi," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 19, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    2. Mayra Buvinic & Monica Das Gupta & Ursula Casabonne & Philip Verwimp, 2013. "Violent Conflict and Gender Inequality: An Overview," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 110-138, February.
    3. Tilman Brück & Kati Schindler, 2008. "The Impact of Conflict and Fragility on Households: A Conceptual Framework with Reference to Widows," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2008-83, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Patricia Justino & Marinella Leone & Paola Salardi, 2011. "Education and Conflict Recovery: The Case of Timor Leste," HiCN Working Papers 100, Households in Conflict Network.
    5. Grimard, F. & Laszlo, S., 2014. "Long-Term Effects of Civil Conflict on Women’s Health Outcomes in Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 139-155.
    6. Franque Grimard & Sonia Laszlo & Wilfredo Lim, 2008. "Health, Aging And Socio-Economic Conditions In Mexico," Departmental Working Papers 2008-06, McGill University, Department of Economics.
    7. Parlow, Anton, 2012. "Armed conflict and children's health - exploring new directions: The case of Kashmir," MPRA Paper 38033, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Parlow, Anton, 2011. "Education and armed conflict: the Kashmir insurgency in the nineties," MPRA Paper 38010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Andinet Woldemichael & Kidane Daniel & Shimeles Abebe, 2017. "Working Paper 276 - A Tax on Children? Food Price Inflation and Health," Working Paper Series 2393, African Development Bank.
    10. Prado C. Alfaiate, Jorge, 2009. "Mozambique and natural disasters: human capital under threat," MPRA Paper 18189, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; civil war; economic shocks; child health; rainfall shocks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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