The Long-Run and Gender-Equalizing Impacts of School Access: Evidence from the First Indochina War


Year: 2019 HiCN Working Paper No. 307

Very few studies currently exist on the long-term impacts of schooling policies in developing countries. This paper examines the impacts—half a century later—of a mass education program conducted by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the occupied areas during the First Indo- china War. Difference-in-difference estimation results suggest that school-age children who were exposed to the program obtained significantly higher levels of education than their peers who were residing in French-occupied areas. The impacts are statistically significant for school- age girls and not for school-age boys. The analysis finds beneficial spillover and inter-generational impacts of education: affected girls enjoyed higher household living standards, had more educated spouses, and raised more educated children. The paper discusses various robustness checks and extensions that support these findings.

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