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Wars and child health: Evidence from the Eritrean–Ethiopian conflict
Authors: Richard Akresh, Leonardo Lucchetti, and Harsha Thirumurthy
Source: Journal of Development Economics, Volume 99, Issue 2, Pages 330–340
Topic(s): Child health
Country: Africa
Published: NOV 2012
Abstract: Conflict between and within countries can have lasting healthand 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.