The dark side of equity: Violence and equity in school performance

Juan F. Vargas, Luis Fernando Gamboa, Viviana García

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The empirical literature on the impact of violent conflicts on educational outcomes has focused on the impact of violence on human capital accumulation, neglecting other relevant outcomes such as educational equity. Using the empirical implementation of Ferreira and Gignoux (2011) of Roemer (1998)'s conceptual framework of equality of opportunities, this paper estimates the impact of conflict intensity on educational equity in Colombia, as measured by the school performance in the Saber 11º test, for the period 1997-2010. To deal with potential biases due to reverse causality or omitted variables, we use the apprehension of murderers by the public force as a source of exogenous variation of violence in an instrumental variables estimation. The results suggest that conflict increases equality of opportunities in educational attainment. By increasing school dropout, conflict induces a positive selection in terms of ability and effort for the proportion of students who remain in the system. This suggests that caution is needed when interpreting patterns of educational equity based on outcomes rather than processes.

Translated title of the contributionEl lado oscuro de la equidad: Violencia y equidad en el desempeño escolar
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-334
Number of pages26
JournalDesarrollo y Sociedad
Issue number74
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'The dark side of equity: Violence and equity in school performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this