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The Long Term Educational Cost of War: Evidence from Landmine Contamination in Cambodia

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  • Ouarda Merrouche

    () (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

The economic impact of war may be visible in the long run and particularly through its impact on human capital. This paper uses unique district level data on landmine contamination intensity in Cambodia combined with survey data on individuals to evaluate the long-run impact of Cambodia's 30 years of war (1970-1998) on education levels and earnings. These effects are identified using difference-in-differences (DD) and instrumental variables (IV) estimators. In the DD framework I exploit two sources of variation in an individual's exposure to the conflict: age in 1970 and landmine contamination intensity in the district of residence. The IV specification uses the distance to the Thai border as an exogenous source of variation in landmine contamination intensity. The most conservative result indicates that individuals who were too young to have attended school before the start of the war received on average 0.5 less years of education. And, immediately after the war there was no visible effect on earnings. The effects are therefore overall weak. I argue that the destruction of physical capital may be what contributes to drive down the returns to education in Cambodia post-war. The estimates reported may be very conservative due to both error in our measure of conflict intensity and possible selection bias in the placement of prosperous regions.
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  • Ouarda Merrouche, 2011. "The Long Term Educational Cost of War: Evidence from Landmine Contamination in Cambodia," Post-Print hal-01638083, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01638083
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01638083
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    Cited by:

    1. Islam, Asadul & Ouch, Chandarany & Smyth, Russell & Wang, Liang Choon, 2016. "The long-term effects of civil conflicts on education, earnings, and fertility: Evidence from Cambodia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 800-820.
    2. Prakarsh Singh & Olga N. Shemyakina, 2013. "Gender-Differential Effects of Conflict on Education: The Case of the 1981-1993 Punjab Insurgency," HiCN Working Papers 143, Households in Conflict Network.
    3. Idrissa Ouedraogo & Henri Ngoa Tabi & Henri Atangana Ondoa, 2020. "Effets de la qualité des institutions sur l'éducation en Afrique," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 32(S1), pages 32-44, November.
    4. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Munyanyi, Musharavati Ephraim & Smyth, Russell & Trinh, Trong-Anh, 2021. "Early life shocks and entrepreneurship: Evidence from the Vietnam War," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 506-518.
    5. Pivovarova, Margarita & Swee, Eik Leong, 2015. "Quantifying the Microeconomic Effects of War Using Panel Data: Evidence From Nepal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 308-321.
    6. Iva Trako, 2018. "Returning Home After Conflict Displacement: Labor Supply and Schooling Outcomes Among Kosovar Households," Working Papers halshs-01828477, HAL.
    7. Hönig, Tillman, 2017. "The Impact of Peace: Evidence from Nigeria," MPRA Paper 83302, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Katsuo Kogure & Yoshito Takasaki, 2016. "Conflict, Institutions, and Economic Behavior: Legacies of the Cambodian Genocide," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 16-30, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    9. Michael Palmer & Cuong Nguyen & Sophie Mitra & Daniel Mont & Nora Groce, 2016. "The long-term impact of war on health," HiCN Working Papers 216, Households in Conflict Network.
    10. Eric W. Djimeu, 2014. "Does social action fund promote schooling in conflict affected countries? Mixed evidence from Angola," HiCN Working Papers 189, Households in Conflict Network.
    11. John C. Anyanwu, 2018. "Empirical Analysis of Key Drivers of Gender Equality in Tertiary Education Enrolment in Africa," International Journal of Economics and Financial Research, Academic Research Publishing Group, vol. 4(7), pages 197-213, 07-2018.
    12. Guo, Shiqi, 2020. "The legacy effect of unexploded bombs on educational attainment in Laos," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    13. Michael Palmer & Jenny Williams & Barbara McPake, 2019. "Standard of Living and Disability in Cambodia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(11), pages 2382-2402, November.
    14. Singh, Prakarsh & Shemyakina, Olga N., 2016. "Gender-differential effects of terrorism on education: The case of the 1981–1993 Punjab insurgency," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 185-210.
    15. Iva Trako, 2018. "Returning Home After Conflict Displacement: Labor Supply and Schooling Outcomes Among Kosovar Households," PSE Working Papers halshs-01828477, HAL.
    16. Swee, Eik Leong, 2015. "On war intensity and schooling attainment: The case of Bosnia and Herzegovina," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 158-172.
    17. Noury, Abdul G. & Speciale, Biagio, 2016. "Social constraints and women's education: Evidence from Afghanistan under radical religious rule," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 821-841.
    18. Tillman Hönig, 2019. "The Impact of Peace: Evidence from Nigeria," HiCN Working Papers 293, Households in Conflict Network.
    19. Takasaki, Yoshito, 2020. "Impacts of disability on poverty: Quasi-experimental evidence from landmine amputees in Cambodia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 85-107.

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    Keywords

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    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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