Mortality risk, perception, and human capital investments: The legacy of landmines in Cambodia Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2022

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 15


  • 102234


  • 78

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0927-5371

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1034


  • The paper provides credible evidence for life expectancy as a key determinant of optimal decisions on children's human capital accumulation. The widespread use of landmines in Cambodia's civil conflict since the 1970s, followed by a large-scale international landmine clearance effort, allows for the examination of a causal relationship between life expectancy and human capital investment. A twofold increase in landmine clearance efforts in affected areas during the 2004-2005 period led to a sharp decline in the intensity of landmine casualty. I use a triple difference model that exploits spatial and temporal variations in landmine accidents together with the male-biased nature of landmine accidents to estimate the causal impacts of prime-age mortality risk on human capital outcomes. The estimates show a sizeable, negative effect of landmine mortality on both school attainments and health investments. When the source of mortality risk is replaced by common road traffic accidents, any mortality effect on schooling outcomes disappears, suggesting that household optimal decisions may respond differently to different sources of risk.


  • Economics


  • mortality risk; landmines; human capital investment; triple difference estimation; cambodia