Type Working Paper - Navarra center for international development
Title Landmines
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Landmines are silent killers, maiming and killing during conflict as well as long after its termination. This paper is - to the best of our knowledge - the first to study the impact of landmines on child health, as well as the impact on household income in Angola by exploiting geographical variations in landmine intensity. We generate exogenous variation in the intensity of landmine contamination using the distance separating each commune from a set of rebel headquarters in the highly contentious Planalto (central highlands) region. As predicted, landmine intensity is found to be a decreasing function of the distance to the UNITA centre of gravity, an area of both offensive and defensive mining and shifting frontlines. This holds even after controlling for other geographical characteristics and war intensity that might also directly affect our response variables. Instrumental variables estimates, based on two different household surveys collected in 2000/2001 and the Landmines Impact Survey, indicate that Suspected Hazard Areas have large, significant and negative effects on weight-for-age (WAZ) and height-for-age (HAZ), as well as household income. We use these micro estimates in the context of humanitarian mine action, addressing the issue of the benefits, costs and priorities of landmine clearing, but also the implication of landmines in a larger development perspective in times of conflict and beyond

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