Development Monthly Seminar(1/7)

Speaker: Yuya Kudo  (Institute of Developing Economies)

Title: ”Malaria Infection and Fetal Growth during the War: Evidence from Liberia”

Time & Date: 18:00 to 19:30 on January 7 (Thursday)

Discussant: Yoshito Takasaki (University of Tokyo)

Place: GRIPS, 5L (Lecture room L, 5th floor)


By focusing on the Liberian civil war, this study investigates whether the armed conflict increased infant mortality by exposing pregnant women to high risk of malaria infection and thus, retarding fetal development. This research provides evidence supporting the unfavorable health consequence. This mortality effect gradually increased following the childbirth, as maternal passive immunity waned. This health situation has not remarkably improved since the war ended. The health consequence was also more pronounced for infants conceived in rainy seasons by young mothers residing in rural and battle intensive areas. However, a significant gender-difference was not observed for the mortality effect. The current study also shows that in utero exposure to malaria infection risk had a positive correlation with adult human capital stocks. Given the immediate mortality effect, this long-term human capital improvement may suggest the significance of the culling of the weakest infants during the conflict.