August 2023

IZA DP No. 16374: Persistence of the Spillover Effects of Violence and Educational Trajectories

This paper provides evidence on how having violence-exposed peers who migrated to nonviolent areas affects students' educational trajectories in receiving schools. To recover our estimates, we exploit the variation in local violence across different municipalities in the context of Mexico's war on drugs and linked administrative records on students' educational trajectories. We find that peer exposure to violence in elementary school imposes persistent negative effects on students in nonviolent areas. Having elementary school violence-exposed peers has detrimental effects on students' academic performance in a high school admission exam and grade progression. For every ten students previously exposed to local violence who migrated to Mexico City's metro area, approximately five incumbent students in safe municipalities are placed in lower-ranked and less-preferred schools.