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Polarized Education Levels and Civil War

Author

Listed:
  • Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza
  • Michael Jetter
  • Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo

Abstract

This paper suggests that societies exhibiting a large degree of educational polarization among its populace are systematically more likely to slip into civil conflict and civil war. Intuitively, political preferences and beliefs of highly educated citizens are likely to differ fundamentally from those of uneducated citizens. We propose an index of educational polarization and test its predictive power in explaining the likelihood of civil conflict and civil war, analyzing 146 countries (equivalent to over 93 percent of the world population) from 1950 to 2014. Our results produce strong evidence for a positive, statistically powerful, and economically sizeable relationship. In our benchmark estimation, a one standard deviation increase in educational polarization is associated with a 4.6 and 3.8 percentage point rise in the chances of civil conflict and civil war, respectively. These results are robust to the inclusion of the conventional control variables, country-fixed effects, and country-specific time trends.

Suggested Citation

  • Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza & Michael Jetter & Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo, 2016. "Polarized Education Levels and Civil War," CESifo Working Paper Series 6267, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6267
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp6267.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    civil conflict; civil war; educational polarization; panel data;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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