First and Second Generation Impacts of the Biafran War

Seminar Room IGI 54 Pritchatts Road G10 Campus map
Wednesday 18 September 2019 (12:00-13:00)

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SPEAKER: Professor Richard Akresh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

We analyze long-term impacts of the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War, providing the first evidence of intergenerational impacts. Women exposed to the war in their growing years exhibit reduced adult stature, increased likelihood of being overweight, earlier age at first birth, and lower educational attainment. Exposure to a primary education program mitigates impacts of war exposure on education. War exposed men marry later and have fewer children. War exposure of mothers (but not fathers) has adverse impacts on child growth, survival, and education. Impacts vary with age of exposure. For mother and child health, the largest impacts stem from adolescent exposure.

Richard Akresh is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on children's health and education. He has explored the impact of conflict on human capital and health for young children as well as the long-term and intergenerational consequences of exposure to war as a child. He has conducted randomized control trials of alternative ways to deliver cash transfers and early childhood development interventions to poor households in Africa to improve children's health and education. He is also interested in questions about the intergenerational transmission of shocks, household structure, and intra-household bargaining. He is a Research Associate of the NBER, a BREAD Research Affiliate, a Research Fellow at IZA, and a Senior Affiliate at HiCN.

The seminar will be followed by a networking lunch, all welcome.