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Impacts of long-lasting civil conflicts on education: Evidence from the 2014 Census of Myanmar

Yamada, Hiroyuki and Matsushima, Midori (2020): Impacts of long-lasting civil conflicts on education: Evidence from the 2014 Census of Myanmar.

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Geocoded conflict information was combined with the 2014 household census data to study the impact of long-lasting internal conflicts at township level on Myanmar's primary and secondary-level school attendance (i.e., the short-term impact) and years of education (i.e., the long-term impact). The impacts of internal conflicts on school attendance in 2014 were consistently negative. Then, we constructed quasi-panel data for primary-level schooling to find, again, consistently negative impacts of internal conflicts. The results are robust, even if incompleteness of census or migration are taken into account. The estimated magnitudes of the impacts are smaller than those of the findings from other countries: a 10% increase in the number of deaths result in a 0.01% decline in enrollment probability. Finally, we confirmed that exposure to conflicts during age 6-10 years has a negative but insignificant impact on years of education. Gender differences in terms of negative impact are almost negligible. By carefully reviewing previous papers and characteristics of Myanmar’s conflicts up to 2014 with respect to the mechanism of the negative effect of conflict on education, we argue that the small negative impact found in our analysis is due to the long-lasting and low-intensity nature of the conflicts, as well as the fact that schools and social services are provided by military forces. However, it is important to note that our analysis does not include data of the recent violence in Rakhine state.

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