Armed Conflict and Schooling: Evidence from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide

Richard Akresh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Damien de Walque, World Bank Group

To examine the impact of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide on children’s schooling, the authors combine two cross-sectional household surveys collected before and after the genocide. The identification strategy uses pre-war data to control for an age group’s baseline schooling and exploits variation across provinces in the intensity of killings and which children’s cohorts were school-aged when exposed to the war. The findings show a strong negative impact of the genocide on schooling, with exposed children completing one-half year less education, representing an 18.3% decline. The effect is robust to including control variables, alternative sources for genocide intensity and an instrumental variables strategy.

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Presented in Session 50: Economic Crises, Natural Disasters and Population Well-Being