Canavire-Bacarreza, Gustavo Javier Jetter, Michael Montoya-Agudelo, Alejandra
Year of Publication:
CESifo Working Paper 6267
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.
civil conflict civil war educational polarization panel data