Dean Yang

Educational Decision-Making in the Aftermath of a Disaster: Evidence from Cyclone Idai in Mozambique

Research Project Description

We study how disasters affect school enrollment and attainment, how changes in economic preference parameters mediate these effects, and the protective role of community-based education and health interventions. We are conducting a randomized controlled trial of an education and health program, Forca a Comunidade e Criancas (FCC), with a study sample across three Mozambican provinces who were surveyed and randomly assigned to program exposure in 2017-18. The program includes a village savings and loan association (VSLA) component, which may improve disaster resilience, as well as student educational subsidies, which may also help children maintain school enrollment in the wake of a disaster. In March 2019, our study areas were struck (to varying degrees) by Cyclone Idai, the most destructive cyclone ever recorded in Africa. Substantial shares of study households were displaced to refugee camps. We propose intensive current follow-up and later re-surveys of study households to understand short- and medium-term disaster impacts, disaster-induced changes in preferences (e.g., present bias, risk aversion), and whether the education and health program improves post-disaster resilience.

Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)

Funding Period: 7/1/2020 to 12/31/2022

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