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The Effects of Armed Conflict on Educational Attainment and Inequality

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Armed Conflict, Ethnic Conflict, Educational Attainment, Educational Inequality, Difference-in-Differences, Propensity Score Matching

We exploit the variation in the timing of conflict between countries using a difference-in-differences matching strategy to identify the impacts of armed conflict on years of schooling and educational inequality. We draw upon data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program and the Ethnic Power Relations databases, which enable us to distinguish between ethnic and non-ethnic conflicts. Further, we are able to identify the effect of conflict onset as well as the incidence of conflict in years following onset. Our results provide evidence that the introduction of any conflict worsens educational attainment and exacerbates pre-existing inequalities thereof. This paper also shows that conflict effects are more pronounced when ethnic in nature and that attainment and inequality outcomes worsen as conflicts persist over time. Our results are robust to different regression specifications and propensity score matching algorithms.

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