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The Impact of Civil Conflict on Child Health: Evidence from Colombia

Noemi Kreif (), Andrew Mirelman, Marc Suhrcke (), Giancarlo Buitrago and Rodrigo Moreno Serra
Additional contact information
Noemi Kreif: Centre for Health Economics, University of York
Andrew Mirelman: Centre for Health Economics, University of York
Giancarlo Buitrago: Clinical Research Institute, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Hospital Universitario Nacional de Colombia
Rodrigo Moreno Serra: entre for Health Economics, University of York

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Rodrigo Moreno-Serra ()

No 336, HiCN Working Papers from Households in Conflict Network

Abstract: Internal armed conflicts have become more common and more physically destructive since the mid-20th century, with devastating consequences for health and development in low-and middle-income countries. This paper investigates the causal impacts of the long-term internal conflict on child health in Colombia, following an identification strategy based on the temporal and geographic variation of conflict intensity. We estimate the effect of different levels of conflict intensity on height-for-age (HAZ), weight-for-age (WAZ), and weight-for-height z-scoresamong children under five years old, and explore the underlying potential mechanisms, through maternal health behavior and health care utilization. We find a harmful effect of exposure to conflict violence during pregnancy for HAZ and WAZ, in the full sample and even more strongly in the rural sample, yet these estimates are smaller than those found for shorter term conflicts. The underlying pathways appear to operate around the time of the pregnancy and birth (in the form of maternal alcohol use, use of antenatal care and skilled birth attendance), rather than during the post-birth period (via breastfeeding or vaccination). The most adverse impacts of conflict violence on child health and utilization of maternal healthcare were observed in municipalities which suffered from intermittent presence of armed groups.

Keywords: Conflict; Violence; Child health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 39 pages
Date: 2020-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-dev and nep-hea
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https://hicn.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2020/11/HiCN-WP-336.pdf First version, 2020 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: The impact of civil conflict on child health: Evidence from Colombia (2022) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hic:wpaper:336

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