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Transitory shocks and long-term human capital accumulation: the impact of conflict on physical health in Peru

Alan Sanchez ()

No 2010-020, Working Papers from Banco Central de Reserva del Perú

Abstract: The recent literature on human capital highlights the importance of investments during the first few years after birth as a determinant of economic outcomes later in life, including labour productivity. This paper assesses the relationship between conflict exposure -a transitory, aggregate, shock- and early nutrition. The relationship between conflict exposure and human capital outcomes can be put into doubt due to the endogenous nature of conflict. In this paper I use a rich dataset that permits me to trace the intensity of a country-specific, large-scale, conflict across regions and over time at the monthly frequency over a 20-year period. I use this data to link conflict exposure prevalent around the time of birth to child-level outcomes of birth cohorts born over an analogous time period. The identification strategy exploits differences in the intensity of exposure between siblings in turn determined by year-month of birth. Results show that, on average, early exposure to conflict did not have an effect on infant mortality but had large negative effects on short-term nutritional outcomes, particularly for the poor. These results suggest that, unless compensatory investments were at place, the Peruvian conflict might have had long-term effects on human capital accumulation through a nutritional channel.

Keywords: Health Production; Human Capital; Conflict; Children (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 J24 J13 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-lab and nep-mic
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