Sex Ratio and the Intergenerational Impact of Conflict on Human Development: Evidence from Cambodia's Genocide
46 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2015
Date Written: June 30, 2015
We use geographical variation in the intensity of the genocide, which disproportionately killed prime-age males during the Khmer Rouge (KR) regime in Cambodia, to study the effect of violent conflict on the educational and health outcomes of children born years after the conflict ended. We show that the adverse effects of violent conflict are transmitted from one generation to the next through its effect on the sex ratio and marriage outcomes of those who survived the conflict. We find that mortality rates under the KR predict a lower likelihood of normal grade progression and lower height-for-age Z-scores for children born to parents who were of prime marriage age (14-29) during the time that the KR was in power. Using mortality rates during the KR regime as an instrumental variable for the sex ratio, we find that for every one standard deviation decrease in the sex ratio for the parents’ generation, the likelihood of children exhibiting normal grade progression reduces by 6.8-7.4 percentage points and the height-for-age Z-score decreases by 1.5 standard deviations.
Keywords: Civil conflict, sex ratio, marriage, education, health, intergenerational effects
JEL Classification: D74, I12, I21, J12, J13, O15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation