Wars and Child Health: Evidence from the Eritrean-Ethiopian Conflict

45 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2011

See all articles by Richard Akresh

Richard Akresh

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Leonardo Lucchetti

World Bank

Harsha Thirumurthy

University of Pennsylvania; Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, University of Pennsylvania; University of Pennsylvania - Population Studies Center

Abstract

This is the first paper using household survey data from two countries involved in an international war (Eritrea and Ethiopia) to measure the conflict's impact on children's health in both nations. The identification strategy uses event data to exploit exogenous variation in the conflict's geographic extent and timing and the exposure of different children's birth cohorts to the fighting. The paper uniquely incorporates GPS information on the distance between survey villages and conflict sites to more accurately measure a child's war exposure. War-exposed children in both countries have lower height-for-age Z-scores, with the children in the war-instigating and losing country (Eritrea) suffering more than the winning nation (Ethiopia). Negative impacts on boys and girls of being born during the conflict are comparable to impacts for children alive at the time of the war. Effects are robust to including region-specific time trends, alternative conflict exposure measures, and an instrumental variables strategy.

Keywords: child health, conflict, economic shocks, Africa

JEL Classification: I12, J13, O12

Suggested Citation

Akresh, Richard and Lucchetti, Leonardo and Thirumurthy, Harsha, Wars and Child Health: Evidence from the Eritrean-Ethiopian Conflict. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5558, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1790669

Richard Akresh (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
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Leonardo Lucchetti

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Harsha Thirumurthy

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

423 Guardian Dr
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

University of Pennsylvania - Population Studies Center ( email )

PA
United States

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