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Learning the hard way: The effect of violent conflict on student academic achievement


  • Tilman Brück

    () (International Security and Development Center (ISDC))

  • Michele Di Maio

    () (University of Naples)

  • Sami H. Miaari

    () (Tel-Aviv University)


We study the effect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the probability to pass the final high-school exam for Palestinian students in the West Bank during the Second Intifada (2000-2006). By exploiting within school variation in the number of conflict-related Palestinian fatalities during the academic year, we show that the conflict reduces the probability to pass the final exam and to be admitted to the university. We also provide evidence of the heterogeneous effects of the conflict in terms of ability of the student and type of violent event the student is exposed to. Finally, we discuss possible transmission mechanisms explaining our main result.

Suggested Citation

  • Tilman Brück & Michele Di Maio & Sami H. Miaari, 2014. "Learning the hard way: The effect of violent conflict on student academic achievement," HiCN Working Papers 185, Households in Conflict Network.
  • Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:185

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, March.
    2. Hani Mansour & Daniel I. Rees, 2011. "The Effect of Prenatal Stress on Birth Weight: Evidence from the al-Aqsa Intifada," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1108, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. David A. Jaeger & M. Daniele Paserman, 2008. "The Cycle of Violence? An Empirical Analysis of Fatalities in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1591-1604, September.
    4. Catherine rodríguez & fabio sánchez, 2012. "Armed Conflict Exposure, Human Capital Investments, And Child Labor: Evidence From Colombia," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(2), pages 161-184, April.
    5. Gianmarco León, 2012. "Civil Conflict and Human Capital Accumulation: The Long-term Effects of Political Violence in Perú," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(4), pages 991-1022.
    6. Olaf J. de Groot & Idil Göksel, 2011. "Conflict and Education Demand in the Basque Region," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 55(4), pages 652-677, August.
    7. Christine Valente, 2014. "Education and Civil Conflict in Nepal," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(2), pages 354-383.
    8. Andrew J. Houtenville & Karen Smith Conway, 2008. "Parental Effort, School Resources, and Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 437-453.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jürges, Hendrik & Stella, Luca & Hallaq, Sameh & Schwarz, Alexandra, 2017. "Cohort at Risk: Long-Term Consequences of Conflict for Child School Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 10994, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Jarillo, Brenda & Magaloni, Beatriz & Franco, Edgar & Robles, Gustavo, 2016. "How the Mexican drug war affects kids and schools? Evidence on effects and mechanisms," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 135-146.
    3. 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.
    4. Richard Akresh, 2016. "Climate Change, Conflict, and Children," HiCN Working Papers 221, Households in Conflict Network.
    5. Adelman,Melissa Ann & Szekely,Miguel, 2016. "School dropout in Central America : an overview of trends, causes, consequences, and promising interventions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7561, The World Bank.
    6. Michele Di Maio & Roberto Nisticò, 2016. "The Effect of Parental Job Loss on Child School Dropout: Evidence from the Occupied Palestinian Territories," CSEF Working Papers 456, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 06 Feb 2018.
    7. Silwal, Shikha, 2016. "Resilience amidst conflict? The effect of civil war exposure on secondary education," International Journal of Development and Conflict, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, vol. 6(2), pages 97-120.

    More about this item


    academic achievement; high-school; Second Intifada; violent conflict; fatalities; West Bank; Palestine; Israel;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions

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