Wars and child health: Evidence from the Eritrean-Ethiopian conflict

Richard Akresh, Leonardo Lucchetti, Harsha Thirumurthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Conflict between and within countries can have lasting health and economic consequences, but identifying such effects can be empirically challenging. This paper uses household survey data from Eritrea to estimate the effect of exposure to the 1998-2000 Eritrea-Ethiopia war on children's health. The identification strategy exploits exogenous variation in the conflict's geographic extent and timing and the exposure of different birth cohorts to the fighting. The unique survey data include details on each household's migration history, which allows us to measure a child's geographic location during the war and without which war exposure would be incorrectly classified. War-exposed children have lower height-for-age Z-scores, with similar effects for children born before or during the war. Both boys and girls who are born during the war experience negative impacts due to conflict. Effects are robust to including region-specific time trends, alternative conflict exposure measures, and mother fixed effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-340
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Development Economics
Volume99
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Child health
  • Conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics

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