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Conflict and Girl Child Marriage: Global Evidence

Caroline Krafft, Diana Jimena Arango, Amalia Hadas Rubin and Kelly Jocelyn

No 10135, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: Child marriage has lasting negative health, human capital, and welfare consequences. Conflictsettings are characterized by a number of complex changes that can potentially increase the risk of child marriage,but there has been limited population-based research directly estimating the relationship between conflict andchild marriage. Using Demographic and Health Survey data from 19 conflict-affected countries, this paper estimatesthe relationship between conflict and child marriage. It identifies the relationship based on variation over spaceand time in conflict intensity. The findings are mixed; in some countries conflict is associated with an increase inchild marriage, in others it is associated with a decrease in child marriage, and in some cases there is not astatistically significant relationship. This overall pattern is robust to a variety of approaches to measuring conflict.These findings underscore how efforts to reduce child marriage need to consider conflict as a potential riskfactor, but also one that is likely to interact with local economic, social, and demographic environments.

Date: 2022-08-03
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