This paper analyses the impact of the wave of violence that occurred in Timor Leste in 1999 on education outcomes. We examine the short-term impact of the violence on school attendance in 2001 and its longer-term impact on primary school completion of the same cohorts of children observed again in 2007. We compare the educational impact of the 1999 violence with the impact of other periods of high-intensity violence during the 25 years of Indonesian occupation.
The short-term effects of the conflict are mixed. In the longer term, we find evidence of a substantial loss of human capital among boys in Timor Leste who were exposed to peaks of violence during the 25-year long conflict. The evidence suggests that this result may be due to household trade offs between education and economic welfare.