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Polarized Education Levels and Civil War

Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza (), Michael Jetter () and Alejandra Montoya-Agudelo

No 6267, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Group Munich

Abstract: This paper suggests that societies exhibiting a large degree of educational polarization among its populace are systematically more likely to slip into civil conflict and civil war. Intuitively, political preferences and beliefs of highly educated citizens are likely to differ fundamentally from those of uneducated citizens. We propose an index of educational polarization and test its predictive power in explaining the likelihood of civil conflict and civil war, analyzing 146 countries (equivalent to over 93 percent of the world population) from 1950 to 2014. Our results produce strong evidence for a positive, statistically powerful, and economically sizeable relationship. In our benchmark estimation, a one standard deviation increase in educational polarization is associated with a 4.6 and 3.8 percentage point rise in the chances of civil conflict and civil war, respectively. These results are robust to the inclusion of the conventional control variables, country-fixed effects, and country-specific time trends.

Keywords: civil conflict; civil war; educational polarization; panel data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 D74 I24 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-edu and nep-his
Date: 2016
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