Year of Publication
Document Publisher/Creator
Augustino Ting Mayai
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South Sudan was embroiled in a civil war from mid-December 2013 to mid-
September 2018. Nearly 400,000 people died, and several million were displaced.
The economy nearly collapsed as the nation’s output was severely reduced, causing
inflation to soar. While prior research on the immediate humanitarian crisis in
South Sudan has focused on forced displacement and food insecurity, there is little
information available about the long-term impact the war had on human capital
accumulation in this context. This analysis exploits spatial variation in exposure
to violence to estimate the causal impact of the recent civil war on primary school
enrollment as a proxy for measuring human capital accumulation. Results based
on the difference-in-differences methodology indicate a statistically significant
relationship between school enrollment and the war. The study shows that schools
located in the South Sudanese war zones lost 85 children per year on average, or
18.5 percent of total enrollment. The diminishing trends in girls’ enrollment are
unrelated to the war, which is not surprising; social barriers, including gendered
domestic roles, early marriage, and out-of-wedlock pregnancies, have long impeded
female educational opportunities in South Sudan. These effects are robust to a
number of specifications, including holding constant school-level fixed effects and
adjusting for the standard errors. The article presents important policy implications
for education and the labor market, both locally and internationally.
Date of Publication
Tue, 01/09/2020