Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Caruso, Raul

Ed. by Bove, Vincenzo / Kibris, Arzu / Sekeris, Petros

CiteScore 2017: 0.54

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.304
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.540

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 25, Issue 1


Volume 25 (2019)

Volume 17 (2011)

Volume 4 (1996)

Volume 3 (1995)

Volume 2 (1994)

Volume 1 (1993)

Armed Conflict and Schooling in Rwanda: Digging Deeper

Andrea GuarisoORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2128-7322 / Marijke Verpoorten
  • IOB Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp (UA), Antwerp, Belgium
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2018-10-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2018-0033


We study how armed violence affected educational outcomes in Rwanda during the nineties, relying on two waves of population census data and on a difference-in-differences identification strategy. Results indicate that the violence caused a drop of about 1 year of education for the individuals exposed to the violence at schooling age. The drop was slightly larger for girls than for boys. While increased dropouts and school delays explain the drop in primary schooling, secondary schooling was mainly affected by a drop in enrolments. Finally, in a within-country analysis, we find no robust link between subnational variations in the drop in schooling and the intensity of the 1994 genocide – the most intense conflict event that took place in the country over the studied period. We present possible explanations for the observed patterns and provide related policy implications.

Keywords: Armed Conflict; Education; Genocide; Africa; Rwanda

JEL Classification: I20; O15; O55


  • African Rights. (1998). Rwanda: The Insurgency in the North-West. African Rights.Google Scholar

  • Agüero, J. M., & Majid, M. F. (2014). War and the Destruction of Human Capital. HiCN Working Paper 163.Google Scholar

  • Akbulut-Yuksel, M. (2014). Children of war the long-run effects of large-scale physical destruction and warfare on children. Journal of Human Resources, 49(3), 634–662.Google Scholar

  • Akresh, R., & de Walque, D. (2011). Armed conflict and schooling: evidence from the 1994 rwandan genocide. Update of IZA Discussion Paper 2008 3516, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). Available at: http://faculty.las.illinois.edu/akresh/ (Accessed: February 2018).

  • Amnesty International. (1996–1998). Amnesty International Reports. Amnesty International.Google Scholar

  • Armstrong, D. (2014). Explanation of Rwanda Data Methodology. Mimeo.Google Scholar

  • Blattman, C., & Miguel, E. (2010). Civil war. Journal of Economic Literature, 48(1), 3–57.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bruck, T., Di Maio, M., & Miaari, S. (2013). Exposure to violence and student achievement in palestine: evidence from the second intifada. DiW BerlinWorking Paper, Berlin, Germany.Google Scholar

  • Buvinić, M., Das Gupta, M., & Shemyakina, O. N. (2014). Armed conflict, gender and schooling. World Bank Economic Review, 28(2), 311–319.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Chamarbagwala, R., & Morán, H. E. (2011). The human capital consequences of civil war: Evidence from Guatemala. Journal of Development Economics, 94(1), 41–61.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Chen, S., Loayza, N. V., & Reynal-Querol, M. (2008). The aftermath of civil war. World Bank Economic Review, 22(1), 63–85.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Davenport, C., & Stam, A. (2009). Rwandan Political Violence in Space and Time. Mimeo.Google Scholar

  • Des Forges, A. (1999). Leave none to tell the story: genocide in Rwanda. New York: Human Rights Watch.Google Scholar

  • de Walque D., & Verwimp, P. (2010). The demographic and socio-economic distribution of excess mortality during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Journal of African Economies, 19(2), 141–162.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Dupuy, K., Gates, S., Nygard, H. M., Rudolfsen, I., Rustad, S. A., Strand, H., & Urdal, H. (2017). Trends in armed conflict, 1946—2016. Conflict Trends, Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).Google Scholar

  • Guariso, A., & Verpoorten, M. (2014). Aid, trade, and post-war recovery of the Rwandan coffee sector. Journal of Eastern African Studies 12, 552–574.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Justino, P. (2011). Violent conflict and human capital accumulation. HiCN Working Paper 99.Google Scholar

  • Justino, P., Leone, M., & Salardi, P. (2014). Short and long-term impact of violence on education: the case of timor leste. World Bank Economic Review, 28, 320–353.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Lai, B., & Thyne, C. (2007). The effect of civil war on education, 1980–1997. Journal of Peace Research, 44(43), 277–292.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • León, G. (2012). Civil conflict and human capital accumulation: the long term effects of political violence in Peru. Journal of Human Resources, 47(4), 991–1023.Google Scholar

  • Lopez, H., & Wodon, Q. (2005). The economic impact of armed conflict in Rwanda. Journal of African Economies, 14(4), 586–602.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lucas, R. E., Jr. (1988). On the mechanics of economic development. Journal of Monetary Economics, 22(1), 3–42.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Mamdani, M. (2001). When victims become killers: colonialism, nativism, and the genocide in Rwanda. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

  • Mincer, J. (1974). Schooling, experience and earnings. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar

  • MINEPRISEC/MINESUPRES. (1994). Actes du séminaire sur l’assistance d’urgence et la reconstruction du système éducatif au Rwanda. Kigali, Rwanda: MINEPRISEC/MINESUPRES.Google Scholar

  • Obura, A. (2003). Never Again: education reconstruction in Rwanda. Paris: UNESCO – International Institute for Educational Planning.Google Scholar

  • Oyelere, R. U., & K. Wharton. (2013). The impact of conflict on education attainment and enrolment in Colombia: lessons from recent IDPs. HiCN Working Paper 141.Google Scholar

  • Poirier, T. (2012). The effects of armed conflict on schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of Educational Development, 32, 341–351.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Prunier, G. (1998). The Rwanda crisis: history of a genocide. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar

  • Rodríguez, C., & Sanchez, F. (2012). Armed conflict exposure, human capital investments, and child labor: evidence from Colombia. Defence and Peace Economics, 23(2), 161–184.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Rogall, T. (2015). Mobilizing the masses for genocide. Mimeo. http://cega.berkeley.edu/assets/miscellaneous_files/60_-ABCA-ROGALL_Rwanda.pdf.Google Scholar

  • Rogall, T., & Yanagizawa-Drott, D. (2014). The legacy of political mass killings: evidence from the Rwandan genocide. Mimeo.Google Scholar

  • Serneels, P., & Verpoorten, M. (2015). The impact of armed conflict on economic performance: evidence from Rwanda. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 59(4), 555–592.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Shemyakina, O. N. (2011). The effect of armed conflict on accumulation of schooling: results from Tajikistan. Journal of Development Economics, 95(2), 186–200.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Singh, P. & Shemyakina, O. N. (2016). Gender-differential effects of terrorism on education: the case of the Punjab insurgency 1981–1993. Economics of Education Review, 54, 185–210.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Stewart, F., Huang, C., & Wang, M. (2001). Internal wars in developing countries: An empirical overview of economic and social consequences. In F. Stewart, & V. Fitzgerald (eds.), War and underdevelopment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Straus, S. (2006). The order of genocide: race, power, and war in Rwanda. Ithaca, USA: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar

  • Swee, E. L. (2009). On war and schooling attainment: the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. HiCN Working Paper 57.Google Scholar

  • UNESCO. (2010). The hidden crisis: Armed conflict and education. Think piece commissioned for the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2011, Montreal, Canada: UNESCO Institute for Statistics.Google Scholar

  • UNHCR. (2000). The State of the World’s Refugees 2000: Fifty Years of Humanitarian Action in the Rwandan Genocide and its Aftermath. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • UNHCR. (2004). UNHCR Statistical Yearbook 2002. Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).Google Scholar

  • Verpoorten, M. (2005). The death toll of the Rwandan genocide: a detailed study for Gikongoro Province. Population, 60(4), 331–368.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Verpoorten, M. (2012a). The intensity of the Rwandan genocide: Fine measures from the Gacaca records. Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, 18(1), 1–26.Google Scholar

  • Verpoorten, M. (2012b). Leave None to claim the land: a malthusian catastrophe in Rwanda? Journal of Peace Research, 49(4), 547–563.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Verpoorten, M. (2012c). Detecting hidden violence: the spatial distribution of excess mortality in Rwanda. Political Geography, 31(1), 44–56.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Verwimp, P. (2005). An economic profile of peasant perpetrators of genocide: micro-level evidence from Rwanda. Journal of Development Economics, 77(2), 297–323.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • World Bank. (2004). Education in Rwanda – rebalancing resources to accelerate post-conflict development and poverty reduction. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar

  • Yanagizawa-Drott, D. (2014). Propaganda and conflict: evidence from the Rwandan Genocide. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 129(4), 1947–1994.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2018-10-20

Funding Source: Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad

Award identifier / Grant number: VLADOC - 112

Funding Source: Seventh Framework Programme

Award identifier / Grant number: 608109

Andrea acknowledges financial support from VLADOC - 112 (VLIR-UOS) fellowship program, Funder Id: 10.13039/501100006338 and from PODER grant, funded under the Marie Curie Actions of the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme, Funder Id: 10.13039/100011102 (Contract Number: 608109).

Citation Information: Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, Volume 25, Issue 1, 20180033, ISSN (Online) 1554-8597, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2018-0033.

Export Citation

©2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in