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Health and Conflict: Evidence from Mozambique

Ethnic Conflict, Civil War and Cost of Conflict

ISBN: 978-1-78052-130-5, eISBN: 978-1-78052-131-2

Publication date: 20 July 2011


The consequences of civil war have been widely analyzed. However, one of its important effects, the human cost of the conflict, remains marginally investigated. Indeed, most of recent literature has focused on the numbers of dead and wounded, while little scope has been given to survivors’ health. Given that the survivors are those who bear the burden of reconstruction, it is crucial to evaluate the health costs of civil conflict to develop and implement proper economic policies. This chapter is an attempt in this direction.

The aim is to assess the impact of the Mozambican Civil War on the long-term health of adult women, measured in terms of their height-for-age z-score (HAZ). Toward this end, two sets of data are used: the household survey data derived from Demographic and Health Survey (DHS+ 2003) which provides a set of anthropometric measures combined with an original geo-referenced event dataset of battles and military actions that took place during this war.

I find that women who were exposed to the conflict during the early stages of their lives display weaker health on average than other women, as reflected by their lower HAZ. This negative effect is correlated with age at the time of exposure to the civil war.

Furthermore, this chapter indicates that the use of the medical concept of infancy–childhood–puberty curves is a suitable tool for estimating the impact of age of entry into the conflict and provides some evidence of the channels through which health is affected by civil conflicts.



Domingues, P. (2011), "Health and Conflict: Evidence from Mozambique", Caruso, R. (Ed.) Ethnic Conflict, Civil War and Cost of Conflict (Contributions to Conflict Management, Peace Economics and Development, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 141-169.



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