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American Economic Review: Vol. 102 No. 3 (May 2012)

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War and Stature: Growing Up during the Nigerian Civil War

Article Citation

Akresh, Richard, Sonia Bhalotra, Marinella Leone, and Una Okonkwo Osili. 2012. "War and Stature: Growing Up during the Nigerian Civil War." American Economic Review, 102(3): 273-77.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.102.3.273

Abstract

The Nigerian civil war of 1967-70 was precipitated by secession of the Igbo-dominated south-eastern region to create the state of Biafra. It was the first civil war in Africa, the predecessor of many. We investigate the legacies of this war four decades later. Using variation across ethnicity and cohort, we identify significant long-run impacts on human health capital. Individuals exposed to the war at all ages between birth and adolescence exhibit reduced adult stature and these impacts are largest in adolescence. Adult stature is portentous of reduced life expectancy and lower earnings.

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Authors

Akresh, Richard (U IL)
Bhalotra, Sonia (U Bristol)
Leone, Marinella (U Sussex)
Osili, Una Okonkwo (IN U-Purdue U Indianapolis)

JEL Classifications

D74: Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
O17: Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
J11: Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
O15: Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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