The Intergenerational Effect of Cambodia's Genocide on Children's Education and Health

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Abstract

We investigate the intergenerational impact of conflict on the educational and health outcomes of children born years after the conflict ended by exploiting geographical variation in the intensity of the genocide that occurred during the Khmer Rouge (KR) regime in Cambodia. We find that children of individuals who were of prime marriage age during the genocide and experienced greater intensity of genocide have worse educational and health outcomes. In particular, for each standard deviation increase in the intensity of the genocide, average children's normal grade progression rate decreases by 0.03 standard deviations and average children's height-for- age Z-score decreases by 0.06 standard deviations. We examine several channels through which genocide could affect children born to survivors after the conflict and find suggestive evidence that the marriage market acts as a channel that transmits the adverse impact of conflict across generations. Our findings are robust to alternative measures of mortality rates and post-KR internal migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-353
Number of pages23
JournalPopulation and Development Review
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

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