Political Violence, Land Reform and Child Health: Results from Zimbabwe

Olga N. Shemyakina, Georgia Institute of Technology

The article examines the impact of politically-motivated violence in Zimbabwe following the 2000 referendum and the accompanying it controversial land reform on children's health, measured by height-for-age and weight-for-height z-scores. To identify the impact of violence on children’s stature, the empirical analysis exploits temporal and spatial variation across birth cohorts. Children born after the 2000 referendum had lower height-for-age and higher weight-for-height z-scores than children from the earlier cohort, suggesting that the long-term effect of conflict on child height was more important than the short term variations in weight. This study provides further empirical evidence on the effect of conflict on child health in the context of state-led violence using multiple indicators of health. Thus, countries that are governed by repressive regimes suffer similarly to countries affected by civil wars, and may require similar forms of international assistance.

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 Presented in Session P7. Health and Mortality of Women, Children and Families