ABC's, 123's, and The Golden Rule
The Pacifying Effect of Education on Civil War, 1980-1999
This study examines two ways by which education might affect the probability of civil war onset. First, educational investment provides a strong signal to the people that the government is attempting to improve their lives, which is apt to lower grievances, even in desperate times. Second, education can generate economic, political, and social stability by giving people tools with which they can resolve disputes peacefully, making them less likely to incur the risks involved in joining a rebellion.
This theory is tested by examining the effect of educational expenditures, enrollment levels, and literacy rates on the probability of civil war onset from 1980 through 1999. The results provide evidence for both the grievance and stability arguments, providing strong support for the pacifying effects of education on civil war.