The Effect of Armed Conflict on Accumulation of Schooling: Results from Tajikistan
From 1992 to 1998 Tajikistan was embroiled in one of the most devastating civil conflicts in the Former Soviet Union region. I examine the effect of this armed conflict on the schooling outcomes of individuals using two empirical strategies. To identify exposure to conflict by individuals I use data from the 1999 and 2003 Tajik Living Standards Surveys. The 1999 data suggest that homes of 6.8 percent of the households were damaged during the conflict and that at least 40% of 2000 households lived in a community where such damage occurred. My results imply that exposure to the conflict, as measured by past damage to household dwelling, had a significant negative effect on the enrollment of girls of ages 12-15, and little, or no, effect on enrollment of boys and younger girls. Furthermore, I find that girls who were of school age during the conflict and lived in conflict affected regions were i) 13% less likely to complete mandatory schooling as compared to girls who had the opportunity to complete their schooling before the conflict started, and ii) 7% less likely to complete school than girls of the same age group who lived in regions relatively unaffected by conflict. Thus, the armed conflict in Tajikistan may have created significant regional disparities in the education attained by girls. Interestingly, these disparities were not explained by unavailability or destruction of schools and other education related infrastructure in the regions affected by conflict.
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