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Children of the Revolution: Fetal and Child Health amidst Violent Civil Conflict

  • Valente, C;

This paper considers the impact of exposure to violent conflict in utero, and after birth, on a range of fetal and child health inputs and outcomes, using the Maoist insurgency that a ected Nepal between 1996 and 2006 as a case study. Conflict intensity is measured by the number of conflict deaths by district and month and merged with pregnancy histories from the 2001 and 2006 Demographic and Health Surveys. Maternal mixed-effects estimation allows me to control for-, and shed light on- selection into becoming pregnant and giving birth at times of more intense conflict. Exposure to conflict in the rst few years of life has an adverse effect on child nutritional status. However, exposure to conflict in utero has both scarring and selection effects on survivors. As conflict intensity increases, the likelihood of miscarriage increases, and so a smaller share of the frailer fetuses is carried to term. This selection effect tends to dominate in the second trimester of pregnancy, whilst scarring effects are stronger in the third trimester. Use of health care such as antenatal care, (medical) help with delivery, and immunization do not appear to decrease when conflict intensites, and there is no evidence of acute maternal malnutrition, thus suggesting a role for other factors such as psychological stress in the increased probability of miscarriage.

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Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 11/12.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:11/12
Contact details of provider: Postal: HEDG/HERC, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
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Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/economics/postgrad/herc/hedg/
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  1. 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).
  2. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & van Soest, Arthur, 2006. "Birth Spacing, Fertility and Neonatal Mortality in India: Dynamics, Frailty and Fecundity," IZA Discussion Papers 2163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Rajeev Dehejia & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2004. "Booms, Busts, and Babies’ Health," Working Papers 250, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  4. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Mårten Palme, 2009. "Chernobyl's Subclinical Legacy: Prenatal Exposure to Radioactive Fallout and School Outcomes in Sweden," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1729-1772, November.
  5. Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude, 2009. "Children of War: The Long-Run Effects of Large-Scale Physical Destruction and Warfare on Children," IZA Discussion Papers 4407, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Adriana Camacho, 2008. "Stress and Birth Weight: Evidence from Terrorist Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 511-15, May.
  9. Alok K. Bohara & Neil J. Mitchell & Mani Nepal, 2006. "Opportunity, Democracy, and the Exchange of Political Violence," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 50(1), pages 108-128, February.
  10. Bhalotra, S. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2005. "Birth Spacing and Neonatal Mortality in India : Dynamics, Frailty and Fecundity," Discussion Paper 2005-6, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2007. "Long-Term Effects Of The 1959-1961 China Famine: Mainland China and Hong Kong," NBER Working Papers 13384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2008. "The effects of maternal fasting during Ramadan on birth and adult outcomes," Working Paper Series WP-07-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  13. Quy-Toan Do & Lakshmi Iyer, 2010. "Geography, poverty and conflict in Nepal," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(6), pages 735-748, November.
  14. Megan Beckett & Julie Da Vanzo & Narayan Sastry & Constantijn Panis & Christine Peterson, 2001. "The Quality of Retrospective Data: An Examination of Long-Term Recall in a Developing Country," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(3), pages 593-625.
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