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War and the Destruction of Human Capital

  • Jorge M. Agüero

    ()

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Muhammad Farhan Majid

    ()

    (University of Pennsylvania)

The identification of the effect of wars on human capital tends to focus on the population of school age children at the time of the conflict. Our paper introduces a methodology to estimate the effect of war on the stock of human capital by examining the changes in the presence of educated people after the Rwanda genocide. We find that the genocide reduced the stock of human capital in Rwanda severely. The before-and-after results show that highly educated individuals (i.e., those with primary education or more) are “missing” at a rate that is 19.4% higher than the less educated. Moreover, Rwanda's average years of schooling is lower by 0.37 years. When comparisons with Uganda are made, these estimates more than double suggesting that, if anything, the previous finding were biased downwards. Interestingly, when the cross-sectional variation within Rwanda variation in intensity of genocide is exploited there is no evidence of statistically significant differences. This suggests that the losses in the stock of human capital due to the Rwandan genocide were aggregate in nature.

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Paper provided by Households in Conflict Network in its series HiCN Working Papers with number 163.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:163
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.hicn.org

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  1. David M. Cutler & Angus S. Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Working Papers id:359, eSocialSciences.
  2. Richard Akresh & Damien de Walque, 2008. "Armed Conflict and Schooling: Evidence from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide," HiCN Working Papers 47, Households in Conflict Network.
  3. Akresh, Richard & Lucchetti, Leonardo & Thirumurthy, Harsha, 2011. "Wars and Child Health: Evidence from the Eritrean-Ethiopian Conflict," IZA Discussion Papers 5558, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Alderman,Harold & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," FCND discussion papers 168, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Blattman, Christopher & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "Civil War," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt90n356hs, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  6. de Walque, Damien & Verwimp, Philip, 2009. "The demographic and socio-economic distribution of excess mortality during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4850, The World Bank.
  7. Richard Akresh & Sonia Bhalotra & Marinella Leone & Una Osili, 2011. "War and Stature: Growing Up During the Nigerian Civil War," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 11/279, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  8. Rodrik, Dani, 1999. " Where Did All the Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict, and Growth Collapses," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 385-412, December.
  9. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mansour, Hani & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Armed conflict and birth weight: Evidence from the al-Aqsa Intifada," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 190-199.
  11. Richard Akresh & Philip Verwimp & Tom Bundervoet, 2011. "Civil War, Crop Failure, and Child Stunting in Rwanda," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 777 - 810.
  12. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  13. Olga Shemyakina, 2006. "The Effect of Armed Conflict on Accumulation of Schooling: Results from Tajikistan," HiCN Working Papers 12, Households in Conflict Network.
  14. Lucia Breierova & Esther Duflo, 2004. "The Impact of Education on Fertility and Child Mortality: Do Fathers Really Matter Less Than Mothers?," NBER Working Papers 10513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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