War and the Destruction of Human Capital

Muhammad Majid, University of Pennsylvania
Jorge Aguero, University of California, Riverside

Most studies on the human capital costs of war tend to focus on children of school going age at the time of conflict. This paper estimates the effect of war on the destruction of stock of human capital by estimating "missing educated'' cohorts. Results show that highly educated individuals are "missing'' at a rate that is at least 24.1% higher than the less educated. Moreover, Rwanda's average years of schooling is lower by 0.645 years. When comparisons with Uganda are made, these estimates remain robust. Interestingly, when the cross-sectional within Rwanda variation in intensity of genocide is exploited there is no evidence of statistically significant differences. This suggests that the losses in the stock of human capital due to the Rwandan genocide were aggregate in nature.

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Presented in Session 95: Education Issues in Africa