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War and Stature: Growing Up during the Nigerian Civil War

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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.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/aer.102.3.273

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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