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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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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.
    3. Andrea Ichino & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2004. "The Long-Run Educational Cost of World War II," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 57-86, January.
    4. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2001. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case-Control Study for the Basque Country," NBER Working Papers 8478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Gibbons, Donna M, 1993. "The Determinants and Consequences of the Placement of Government Programs in Indonesia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 7(3), pages 319-348, September.
    6. Banerjee, Abhijit V. & Duflo, Esther, 2005. "Growth Theory through the Lens of Development Economics," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 473-552 Elsevier.
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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. Hönig, Tillman, 2017. "The Impact of Peace: Evidence from Nigeria," MPRA Paper 83302, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Kogure, Katsuo & Takasaki, Yoshito, 2015. "Conflict, Institutions, and Economic Behavior: Legacies of the Cambodian Genocide," CEI Working Paper Series 2014-13, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.

    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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