Breaking the waves ? does education mediate the relationship between youth bulges and political violence ?
AbstractMuch of the developing world has experienced a decline in mortality, while fertility often has remained high. This has produced youthful populations in many countries, generally referred to as"youth bulges."Recent empirical research suggests that youth bulges may be associated with increased risks of political violence and conflict. This paper addresses ways that education may serve as a strategy to reduce the risk of political violence, particularly in the context of large cohorts of young males. The authors use a new education dataset measuring educational attainment. The dataset is constructed using demographic back-projection techniques, and offers uninterrupted time-series data for 120 countries. The empirical analysis finds evidence that large, young male population bulges are more likely to increase the risk of conflict in societies where male secondary education is low. The effect on conflict risk by low education and large youth populations is particularly strong in low and middle-income countries. This is especially challenging for Sub-Saharan Africa, the region facing the youngest age structure and the lowest educational attainment levels. Although quantitative studies generally find a strong relationship between indicators of development and conflict risk, the results suggest that poor countries do have some leverage over reducing conflict potential through increased educational opportunities for young people. There is further evidence that the interaction of large youth cohorts and low education levels may be mediated by structural economic factors. The study supports broad policy interventions in education by relaxing concerns about the consequences of rapid educational expansion.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5114.
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Population Policies; Access&Equity in Basic Education; Adolescent Health; Primary Education; Youth and Governance;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.