Olga Shemyakina

Associate Professor

Member Of:
  • School of Economics
  • Development Studies Program
Office Location:
Old CE Building, Room 322
Related Links:

Dr. Shemyakina is an Associate Professor at the School of Economics at Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research examines the effects of violent conflict and subsequent instances of protracted economic and political instability on the behavior of households in various geographical and institutional settings.

Dr. Olga Shemyakina received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA in 2007 and joined the School of Economics in August 2007. Her research interests include applied microeconomics, development economics, labor economics, armed conflict, health, education, and gender.

Recent research studies and publications by Dr. Shemyakina have explored the short- and long-term effects of armed conflict on health and education of children, subjective well-being, migration, marriage, and labor market outcomes. Her particular focus has been on exploring gender-differentiated impact of conflicts. Dr. Shemyakina validates her research results by drawing on multiple sources of data and measures of conflict.

Dr. Shemyakina has been a Senior Affiliate with the Households in Conflict Network (HiCN) since 2007 and was appointed as an IZA Research Fellow in 2014. Dr. Shemyakina also worked on three research consulting projects for the World Bank studying links between armed conflict, education and gender.

  • Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • M.A., University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • M.A., Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research (KIMEP)
  • B.A., Kazakh State Academy of Management
Research Fields:
  • Conflict Research
  • Development Economics
  • Gender
  • Health
  • Education
Courses Taught:
  • ECON-2100: Economics and Policy
  • ECON-2101: The Global Economy
  • ECON-2105: Prin of Macroeconomics
  • ECON-2106: Prin of Microeconomics
  • ECON-4411: Economic Development
  • ECON-4415: Confl&Secur in DevCountr
  • ECON-4610: Seminar-Economic Policy
  • ECON-6360: Development Economics
Selected Publications

Journal Articles

  • “Gender-Differential Effects of Terrorism on Education: The Case of the Punjab Insurgency 1981-1993”

    February 2016

  • Exploring the Impact of Conflict Exposure during Formative Years on Labor Market Outcomes in Tajikistan

    April 2015

    This study explores the effect of the 1992–1998 armed conflict in Tajikistan on the labour market outcomes by gender. The focus is on cohorts that were of school age during the conflict or recently entered the labour force. The regression analysis controls for the cohort and district-level exposure to conflict. Younger women but not men who also lived in regions more affected by conflict were at least 10 percentage points more likely to be employed than similarly aged women from lesser affected districts. These results suggest a change in female employment patterns potentially induced by war.

  • Armed Conflict, Gender and Schooling

    May 2014

    The impact of armed conflict on gender differentials in schooling appears to be highly context-specific, as the review of the literature and the findings from the three studies in this symposium reveal. In some settings boys' schooling is more negatively affected than that of girls. In others, the reverse is the case. Effects are largely shaped by events surrounding a conflict, pre-war gender differences in educational attainments, and education and labor market opportunities in the absence of war. Rigorous evaluations of post-conflict policies and aid projects can provide useful information to address educational needs and gender differentials in these environments.

  • Armed Conflict, Household Victimization, and Child Health in Côte d'Ivoire

    May 2014

    We examine the causal impact of the 2002–2007 civil conflict in Côte d'Ivoire on children's health using household surveys collected before, during, and after the conflict, and information on the exact location and date of conflict events. Our identification strategy relies on exploiting both temporal and spatial variation across birth cohorts to measure children's exposure to the conflict. We find that children from regions more affected by the conflict suffered significant health setbacks compared with children from less affected regions. We further examine possible war impact mechanisms using rich survey data on households' experience of war. Our results suggest that conflict-related household victimization, and in particular economic losses, is an important channel through which armed conflict negatively impacts child health.

  • Subjective Well-Being and Armed Conflict: Evidence from Bosnia-Herzegovina

    September 2013

    We analyze survey data from Bosnia and Herzegovina collected after the 1992–1995 Bosnian War to answer the following questions: How does individual subjective well-being evolve in the post-conflict period? Does exposure to conflict have an important role in determining one’s post-war experiences? Our identification strategy relies on regional and individual-level variation in exposure to the conflict. Individual war-related trauma has a negative, significant, and lasting impact on subjective well-being. The effect is stronger for those displaced during the war. Municipality-level conflict measures are not significantly associated with subjective well-being once municipality fixed effects are accounted for.

  • Patterns in Female Age at First Marriage and Tajik Armed Conflict

    August 2013

    The study explores the link between the 1992–1998 armed conflict in Tajikistan and women’s entry into first marriage using data from the 2003 Tajik Living Standards Measurement Survey. The estimation method is a Cox proportional hazard model specified as the differences-in-differences framework. The findings suggest that women who reached marriage age during or soon after the conflict (‘war cohort’) and lived in districts more exposed to conflict, were less likely to enter marriage at any given time compared to women from the ‘war cohort’ who lived in less-affected areas and women who reached the peak of prime marriage age before the start of the conflict. The analysis of sub-samples of women by their migration status indicates that migration during the war is one of the mechanisms explaining this delay in entering marriages.

  • Remittances and Labor Supply in Post-Conflict Tajikistan

    December 2012

    We analyze the impact of remittances on the labor supply of men and women in post-conflict Tajikistan. Individuals from remittance-receiving households are less likely to participate in the labor market and supply fewer hours when they do. The results are robust to different measures of remittances and migration. When we differentiate between regions by their exposure to the 1992-1998 armed conflict, we observe that the negative effect of remittances on the labor supply of women is primarily driven by women from the regions more exposed to fighting and destruction during the war. Remittances have a similar negative effect on the supply of labor hours worked across all regions, both for men and women. Further, in the households that do not have migrants, remittances have no effect on the labor supply by males, suggesting that migration and not remittances is the primary factor explaining male labor force participation.

  • Child Health and Conflict in Côte d'Ivoire

    May 2012

    We examine the impact of the 2002-07 civil conflict in Côte d'Ivoire on children's health status measured by height-for-age. We use pre- and post-war survey data coupled with information on the location of violent incidents to capture exposure to the conflict of children born during 1997-2007. Our results indicate that children from regions more affected by the conflict suffered significant health setbacks compared with children from less affected regions. Further, household-level victimization -- such as war-related economic stress, health stress, and displacement -- has a large and negative effect on child health in conflict-affected regions.

  • The Effect of Armed Conflict on Accumulation of Schooling: Results from Tajikistan

    July 2011

    This paper uses differences in regional and temporal exposure to the 1992–1998 armed conflict in Tajikistan to study the effect of violent conflict on schooling outcomes. Data on the past damage to a household's residences from the 1999 Tajik Living Standards Survey is used as well as data on the events during the conflict within a conceptual framework that controls for important individual, household and community characteristics. Girls who were of school age during the conflict and lived in affected regions were less likely to complete their mandatory schooling than girls of the same age who lived in the regions relatively unaffected by conflict. The results also indicate that exposure to violent conflict had a large and statistically significant negative effect on the enrollment of girls. No effect of regional and household conflict exposure on education of boys was found. The results are robust to community and household fixed effects, selection into violence and migration.

  • The Labor Market, Education and Armed Conflict in Tajikistan

    January 2011

    Shortly following its independence in 1991, Tajikistan suffered a violent civil war. This study explores the effect of this conflict on education and labor market outcomes for men and women. The results are based on the data from the 2003 and 2007 Tajik Living Standards Measurement Surveys that were separated from the 1992–1998 Tajik civil war by five and nine years, respectively. The regression analysis that controls for the cohort and regional-level exposure points toward a persistent and lasting gap in the educational attainment by women who were of school age during the war and lived in the more conflict-affected regions as compared with women the same age who lived in the lesser affected regions and also to the older generation. These empirical results support the anecdotal and observational evidence about the decline in female educational attainment in Tajikistan. Interestingly, this group of young women is more likely to hold a job as compared with the rest of the analytical sample. Conditional on being employed, men and women in the more conflict-affected areas do not receive wages that are significantly different from wages received by men and women in the lesser affected areas.