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

Richard Akresh () and Philip Verwimp ()

No 2359, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

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.

Keywords: Africa; civil war; economic shocks; child health; rainfall shocks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 J13 O12 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38 pages
Date: 2006-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-agr, nep-dev and nep-hea
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (13) Track citations by RSS feed

Published - published in: Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2011, 59(4), 777-810

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