Violent Conflicts and Educational Outcomes: The LRA Insurgency in Northern Uganda Revisited

HiCN WP 401

I investigate the consequences of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency  on the educational outcomes of individuals in Northern Uganda. I employ an identification strategy that exploits variations in conflict intensity across birth cohorts and geographic locations using a Difference-in-Differences (DiD) model. Empirical results show that individuals exposed to the conflict experience a decline in completed years of schooling and literacy. There are differential effects between gender and place of residence, but not between duration of exposure. Additionally, we examine the possible supply and demand transmission mechanisms explaining the main result. Evidence suggests that conflict-induced  degradation of school infrastructures, increases in school size, and the teacher-student ratio due to displacement, as well as the reduction in household education expenditure due to direct exposure to violent events, exacerbate educational outcomes. These key mechanisms are vital in formulating effective policy interventions that address the critical supply and demand barriers to education and improve access to education during and in the post-conflict period.

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