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War and the Destruction of Human Capital

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  • Jorge M. Agüero

    ()
    (University of Connecticut)

  • Muhammad Farhan Majid

    ()
    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

The identification of the effect of wars on human capital tends to focus on the population of school age children at the time of the conflict. Our paper introduces a methodology to estimate the effect of war on the stock of human capital by examining the changes in the presence of educated people after the Rwanda genocide. We find that the genocide reduced the stock of human capital in Rwanda severely. The before-and-after results show that highly educated individuals (i.e., those with primary education or more) are “missing” at a rate that is 19.4% higher than the less educated. Moreover, Rwanda's average years of schooling is lower by 0.37 years. When comparisons with Uganda are made, these estimates more than double suggesting that, if anything, the previous finding were biased downwards. Interestingly, when the cross-sectional variation within Rwanda variation in intensity of genocide is exploited there is no evidence of statistically significant differences. This suggests that the losses in the stock of human capital due to the Rwandan genocide were aggregate in nature.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Households in Conflict Network in its series HiCN Working Papers with number 163.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:163

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Web page: http://www.hicn.org

Related research

Keywords: Civil war; Mortality; Education; Human capital; Education; Genocide; Africa;

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References

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  1. Akresh, Richard & Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Leone, Marinella & Osili, Una O., 2011. "War and Stature: Growing Up During the Nigerian Civil War," IZA Discussion Papers 6194, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Mansour, Hani & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Armed conflict and birth weight: Evidence from the al-Aqsa Intifada," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 190-199.
  3. Damien de Walque & Philip Verwimp, 2009. "The Demographic and Socio-Economic Distribution of Excess Mortality during the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda," HiCN Working Papers 54, Households in Conflict Network.
  4. Akresh, Richard & Lucchetti, Leonardo & Thirumurthy, Harsha, 2012. "Wars and child health: Evidence from the Eritrean–Ethiopian conflict," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 330-340.
  5. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Where Did All The Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict, and Growth Collapses," NBER Working Papers 6350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 97-120, Summer.
  7. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2006. "Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 450-474, July.
  9. Akresh, Richard & de Walque, Damien, 2008. "Armed conflict and schooling : evidence from the 1994 Rwandan genocide," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4606, The World Bank.
  10. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  11. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2009. "Civil War," NBER Working Papers 14801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Shemyakina, Olga, 2011. "The effect of armed conflict on accumulation of schooling: Results from Tajikistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 186-200, July.
  13. Lucia Breierova & Esther Duflo, 2004. "The Impact of Education on Fertility and Child Mortality: Do Fathers Really Matter Less Than Mothers?," NBER Working Papers 10513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Richard Akresh & Philip Verwimp & Tom Bundervoet, 2011. "Civil War, Crop Failure, and Child Stunting in Rwanda," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 777 - 810.
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