Discussion paper

DP18559 Instrumenting the effect of terrorism on education in Kenya

This paper estimates the effect of exposure to terrorist violence on education. Since terrorists may choose targets endogenously, we construct a set of novel instruments. To that end, we leverage exogenous variation from a local terrorist group's revenues and its affiliation with al-Qaeda. Across several Kenyan datasets we find that attacks suppress school enrolment more than predicted by difference-in-differences-type estimators. This indicates that terrorists target areas experiencing unobserved, positive shocks. Evidence suggests fears and concerns as mechanisms of impact, rather than educational supply.


Alfano, M and J Goerlach (2023), ‘DP18559 Instrumenting the effect of terrorism on education in Kenya‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 18559. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp18559