Three essays on the economics of education in post-conflict settings: the case of Timor-Leste
Goulão Santos, Ricardo Jorge Moreira
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This thesis seeks to contribute to the knowledge of the economics of education in post-conflict, by proposing an economic analysis of such a setting as a hybrid socio-economic environment, where conflict, despite having ended, has still an impact. It uses an applied economics approach to analyse demand for primary and secondary education and one of the main economic drivers of their demand, returns to education. The focus of study is the post-conflict country of Timor-Leste. In this analysis it proposes and tests economic mechanisms through which conflict may have impacted the returns to education observed in post-conflict Timor-Leste, finding evidence of two significant channels: reduction of productivity and scarcity of qualified human resources. In support of this analysis, it builds a dataset with a novel indicator of political control during conflict that applies in the empirical analysis of returns to education. In the next chapter it seeks to establish evidence of medium-run impacts of conflict on the demand for primary education in Timor-Leste, proposing and testing an empirical methodology to do so. Finally, it proposes and analyses an empirical model of the demand for secondary education in Timor-Leste that integrates the hypothesis of medium-run impacts of conflict. In the process it finds evidence suggesting that, while some of the channels negatively impacted by conflict significantly affect demand for education, a medium-run positive effect might exist, particularly in the form of higher preferences for secondary education among those that experienced more violence during the conflict. Less robust findings of equally positive medium-run effects of conflict are found in the demand for primary education.
CitationGoulão Santos, Ricardo Jorge Moreira (2015) Three essays on the economics of education in post-conflict settings: the case of Timor-Leste. Doctoral thesis, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
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