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Inter-generational contracts, demographic transitions and the 'quantity-quality' tradeoff: parents, children and investing in the future

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  • Naila Kabeer

    (IDS, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK)

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    Abstract

    This paper explores why so many children remain outside the schooling system, despite the current emphasis on education as a form of human capital and as a basic human right. The value given to investments in education partly depends on the extent to which such investments fit in with the implicit inter-generational contracts between parents and children, particularly in societies where there are few alternatives to the family as sources of welfare and security in old age. When the decision to educate a child remains private, the interests of parents' security in old age will dominate over the long-term interests of the child. To explore the circumstances under which parents would be persuaded to invest in their children's education, the paper suggests a series of stylized 'transitions' in the inter-generational contract, each associated with increasing willingness on the part of parents to invest resources in their children. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 463-482

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:12:y:2000:i:4:p:463-482

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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    1. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 1998. "Does the labour market explain lower female schooling in India?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 39-65.
    2. Caldwell, Pat, 1996. "Child survival: Physical vulnerability and resilience in adversity in the European past and the contemporary Third World," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 609-619, September.
    3. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
    4. Odaga, A. & Heneveld, W., 1995. "Girls and Schools in Sub-Saharan Africa. From Analysis to Action," Papers 298, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    5. Simon Appleton & John Hoddinott & John MacKinnon, 1996. "Education and health in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 307-339.
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    Cited by:
    1. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M Stern, 2002. "The Effects of Multinational Production on Wages and Working Conditions in Developing Countries," Working Papers 486, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    2. Philip Kreager & Elisabeth Schröder-Butterfill, 2008. "Indonesia against the trend? Ageing and inter-generational wealth flows in two Indonesian communities," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(52), pages 1781-1810, October.
    3. Harper, Caroline & Marcus, Rachel & Moore, Karen, 2003. "Enduring Poverty and the Conditions of Childhood: Lifecourse and Intergenerational Poverty Transmissions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 535-554, March.

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