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Natural disasters and university enrolment: evidence from L’Aquila earthquake

Augusto Cerqua () and Giorgio Di Pietro

Applied Economics, 2017, vol. 49, issue 14, 1440-1457

Abstract: Although there are several studies looking at the effect of natural disasters on economic growth, less attention has been dedicated to their impact on educational outcomes, especially in more developed countries. We use the synthetic control method to examine how the L’Aquila earthquake affected subsequent enrolment at the local university. This issue has wide economic implications as the University of L’Aquila made a large contribution to the local economy before the earthquake. Our results indicate that the earthquake had no statistically significant effect on first-year enrolment at the University of L’Aquila in the three academic years after the disaster. This natural disaster, however, caused a compositional change in the first-year student population, with a substantial increase in the number of students aged 21 or above. This is likely to have been driven by post-disaster measures adopted in order to mitigate the expected negative effects on enrolment triggered by the earthquake.

Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Natural Disasters and University Enrolment: Evidence from L'Aquila Earthquake (2015) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2016.1218431

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