Armed Conflict Exposure, Human Capital Investments and Child Labor: Evidence from Colombia
Using a unique combination of household and violence data sets and a duration analysis methodology, this paper estimates the effect that exposure to armed conflict has on school drop-out decisions of Colombian children between the ages of six and seventeen. After taking into account the possible endogeneity of municipal conflict related events through the use of instrumental variables, we find that armed conflict reduces the average years of schooling in 8.78% for all Colombian children. This estimate increases to 17.03% for children between sixteen and seventeen years old. We provide evidence that such effect may be induced mainly through higher mortality risks, and to lesser extent due to negative economic shocks and lower school quality; all of which induce a trade-off between schooling and child labor.
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