The Impact of Landmines on Child Health: Evidence from Angola

This article estimates the causal impact of land mines on child health in Angola, controlling for conflict exposure. Our identification strategy is based on the geography of the Angolan civil war. We posit that distance between communes and rebel headquarters is an exogenous driver of land mine contamination. We find that land mine intensity is positively correlated with the distance to a set of rebel headquarters. Instrumental variables estimates, based on two household surveys and the Landmines Impact Survey, indicate that land mines have large and negative effects on weight-for-age and height-for-age. We discuss our results with respect to the costs and benefits of land mine clearance, as well as the long-term costs of early malnutrition. We also compare the magnitude of our estimates with those of related studies on the impact of conflict on child health.

Arcand J.-L., Rodella Boitreau A.-S. and Rieger M. “The Impact of Landmines on Child Health: Evidence from Angola," Economic Development and Cultural Change 63(2), 249-279, 2015.