This study explores the long-run effect of the 1981-1993 Punjab Insurgency on the educational attainment of adults who were between ages 6-16 years at the time of the insurgency. To examine the long-term effect of the insurgency on education, we use a large scale cross-sectional dataset – the 2005 India Human Development Survey. To explore the channels through which the conflict affected education, we use a unique historical dataset on the annual expenditure decisions by farmers (farm account surveys) for Punjab during 1978-1989. We combine both datasets with the annual district level data on major terrorist incidents from the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP). We find a substantial and statistically significant effect of terrorism on educational attainment by girls who were of school age during the conflict. We also identify the impact of terrorism at the household level. Households that had high ratios of girls to boys and who resided in the districts that experienced terrorist events, had reduced the amount of educational expenditures. This finding suggests that this reduction was one of the channels through which conflict affected education.
Prakarsh Singh is Assistant Professor of Economics at Amherst College, Massachusetts. His research falls into three main categories in development economics: a. Performance Incentives in Public Health to target Child Malnutrition; b. Causes and Consequences of Conflict, particularly civil wars; c. Teaching Development Economics. He has written and published widely in all three areas. A sampling of his recent work can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/prakarshsinghac/research.