Short- and Long-Term Impact of Violence on Education: The Case of Timor Leste

Year: 2011 HiCN Working Paper No. 100

This paper analyzes the impact of the wave of violence that occurred in Timor Leste in 1999 on education outcomes. We examine the short-term impact of the violence on school attendance in 2001 and its longer-term impact on primary school comple- tion of the same cohorts of children observed again in 2007. We compare the educa- tional impact of the 1999 violence with the impact of other periods of high-intensity violence during the 25 years of Indonesian occupation. The short-term effects of the conflict are mixed. In the longer term, we find evidence of a substantial loss of human capital among boys in Timor Leste who were exposed to peaks of violence during the 25-year long conflict. The evidence suggests that this result may be due to household trade offs between education and economic welfare.