Conflict and its impact on education accumulation and enrollment in Colombia: what we can learn from recent IDPS
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Forty years of low-intensity internal armed conflict makes Colombia home to over 3 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the world's largest population. The effect of violence on a child's education is of particular concern because of the critical role that education plays in increasing human capital and productivity. This paper explores the education accumulation and enrollment gaps created by being directly affected by conflict. First, we show that children living in high-conflict municipalities have only small gaps in education accumulation and enrollment in comparison to those living in low-conflict municipalities. These gaps grow when we compare those directly affected by conflict (IDPs) to non-migrants. Even when we compare IDPs to other migrant groups, the education gap persists. Our results suggest significant education accumulation and enrollment gaps for children of IDPs that widen to over half a year in secondary school. The difference that emerges we focus on direct exposure to conflict versus simply living in a high-conflict municipality suggests a need to distinguish between general and targeted violence when estimating the impact of conflict on education outcomes.