The Unequal Burden of War: The Effect of Armed Conflict on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy

27 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2005 Last revised: 8 Feb 2011

See all articles by Thomas Pluemper

Thomas Pluemper

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Socioeconomics; University of Essex - Department of Government

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: February 2006

Abstract

Most combatants in armed conflict are men, so naturally men are the major direct victims of military operations. Yet, armed conflicts have important indirect negative consequences on agriculture, infrastructure, public health provision and social order. These indirect consequences are often overlooked and under-appreciated. They will also affect women and arguably more so than men. This article provides the first rigorous analysis of the impact of armed conflict on female relative to male life expectancy. We find that over the entire conflict period interstate and civil wars on average affect women more adversely than men. In peace times, women typically live longer than men. Hence, armed conflict tends to decrease the gap between female and male life expectancy. For civil wars, we find that it is ethnic wars that are damaging to women and particularly so if they take place in 'failed' states. Our findings challenge policy makers as well as international and humanitarian organizations to develop policies that tackle the large indirect and long-term negative health impacts of armed conflicts.

Keywords: Conflict, Life Expectancy, Gender Gap, War, Civil War

JEL Classification: N4, I10, J11

Suggested Citation

Plümper, Thomas and Neumayer, Eric, The Unequal Burden of War: The Effect of Armed Conflict on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy (February 2006). International Organization, Vol. 60, No. 3, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=692503

Thomas Plümper (Contact Author)

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Socioeconomics ( email )

Vienna
Austria

University of Essex - Department of Government ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.polsci.org/pluemper

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 7598 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7412 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/neumayer

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