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The long-term legacy of the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia

  • de Walque, Damien

The author studies the long-term impact of genocide during the period of the Khmer Rouge (1975-79) in Cambodia and contributes to the literature on the economic analysis of conflict. Using mortality data for siblings from the Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey in 2000, he shows that excess mortality was extremely high and heavily concentrated during 1974-80. Adult males had been the most likely to die, indicating that violent death played a major role. Individuals with an urban or educated background were more likely to die. Infant mortality was also at veryhigh levels during the period, and disability rates from landmines or other weapons were high for males who, given their birth cohort, were exposed to this risk. The very high and selective mortality had a major impact on the population structure of Cambodia. Fertility and marriage rates were very low under the Khmer Rouge but rebounded immediately after the regime's collapse. Because of the shortage of eligible males, the age and education differences between partners tended to decline. The period had a lasting impact on the educational attainment of the population. The education system collapsed during the period, so individuals-especially males-who were of schooling age during this interval had a lower educational attainment than the preceding and subsequent birth cohorts.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3446.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3446
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  1. Ichino, Andrea & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1998. "The Long-Run Educational Cost of World War II: An Example of Local Average Treatment Effect Estimation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1895, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Meng, Xin & Gregory, R G, 2002. "The Impact of Interrupted Education on Subsequent Educational Attainment: A Cost of the Chinese Cultural Revolution," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(4), pages 935-59, July.
  3. Paul Collier & V. L. Elliott & Håvard Hegre & Anke Hoeffler & Marta Reynal-Querol & Nicholas Sambanis, 2003. "Breaking the Conflict Trap : Civil War and Development Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13938.
  4. Ichino, A. & Winter-Ebmer, R., 1998. "The Long-Run Education Cost of World War II. Example of Local Average Treatment Effect Estimation," Economics Working Papers eco98/10, European University Institute.
  5. Verwimp, Philip, 2003. "The political economy of coffee, dictatorship, and genocide," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 161-181, June.
  6. Meng, Xin & Gregory, Bob, 2007. "Exploring the Impact of Interrupted Education on Earnings: The Educational Cost of the Chinese Cultural Revolution," IZA Discussion Papers 2548, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Prescott, N. & Pradhan, M., 1997. "A Poverty Profile of Cambodia," World Bank - Discussion Papers 373, World Bank.
  8. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
  9. Giles, John & Park, Albert & Wang, Meiyan, 2008. "The great proletarian cultural revolution, disruptions to education, and returns to schooling in urban China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4729, The World Bank.
  10. 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.
  11. Patrick Heuveline, 1998. "L'insoutenable incertitude du nombre : estimations des décès de la période Khmer rouge," Population (french edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 53(6), pages 1103-1117.
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