Civil Wars beyond their Borders: The Human Capital and Health Consequences of Hosting Refugees

Last updated December 2010
Javier E. Baez

In early 1994, Kagera, a region in northwestern Tanzania, was flooded by more than 500,000 refugees fleeing from the genocides of Burundi and Rwanda. I use this population shock and a series of topographic barriers that resulted in variation in refugee intensity to investigate the short-term and long-term causal effects of hosting refugees on outcomes of local children. This strategy provides evidence of adverse effects over one year after the shock: a worsening of children’s anthropometrics (0.3 standard deviations); an increase in the incidence of infectious diseases (15 percentage points to 20 percentage points); and an increase in mortality for children under age 5 (7 percentage points).

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Javier E. Baez,, Syracuse University