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The long-term educational cost of war: evidence from landmine contamination in Cambodia

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  • Ouarda Merrouche

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

The economic impact of war may be visible in the long run and particularly its impact on human capital. I use unique district level data on landmine contamination intensity in Cambodia combined with individual survey data to evaluate the long run cost of Cambodia's 30 years 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: her age in 1970 and landmine contamination intensity in her district of residence. The IV specification uses an indicator of distance to the Thai border-average district fluency in Thai- as an exogenous source of variation in landmine contamination intensity. I show that young individuals who had not yet attended school before 1970 received less education (relative to the older cohort) and this effect was higher in regions where conflict has been more intense. However, immediately after the war there are no visible effects on earnings. I argue that the destruction of physical capital is the major factor that drives down the returns to education in Cambodia post-war.

Suggested Citation

  • Ouarda Merrouche, 2006. "The long-term educational cost of war: evidence from landmine contamination in Cambodia," IFS Working Papers W06/11, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:06/11
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    1. Massimo Guidolin & Eliana La Ferrara, 2007. "Diamonds Are Forever, Wars Are Not: Is Conflict Bad for Private Firms?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1978-1993, December.
    2. Ouarda Merrouche, 2006. "Economic Consequences of Wars: Evidence from Landmine Contamination in Mozambique," Economics Working Papers ECO2006/22, European University Institute.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Iva Trako, 2018. "Returning Home After Conflict Displacement: Labor Supply and Schooling Outcomes Among Kosovar Households," Working Papers halshs-01828477, HAL.
    3. Hönig, Tillman, 2017. "The Impact of Peace: Evidence from Nigeria," MPRA Paper 83302, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. 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.
    5. Guo, Shiqi, 2020. "The legacy effect of unexploded bombs on educational attainment in Laos," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    6. Iva Trako, 2018. "Returning Home After Conflict Displacement: Labor Supply and Schooling Outcomes Among Kosovar Households," PSE Working Papers halshs-01828477, HAL.
    7. 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.
    8. Tillman Hönig, 2019. "The Impact of Peace: Evidence from Nigeria," HiCN Working Papers 293, Households in Conflict Network.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    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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    More about this item

    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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