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Orphanhood and Schooling Outcomes in Malawi

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  • Sharma, Manohar P.

Abstract

The issue of orphan-care has risen to the top of the social protection agenda in Malawi, where the prevalence of orphaned children has dramatically increased because of early deaths of parents infected by the HIV/AIDS. Ensuring that orphaned children are not deprived of minimum investments in education is now a policy priority. Probit models suggest that in rural Malawi, the likelihood of dropping out of school is higher for orphans than for non-orphans as grade level increases. But contrary to conventional wisdom, results suggest that orphans residing with non-parent or non-grandparents caregivers do not have higher probability of dropping out of school. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Orphans under the care of a single surviving parent or grandparents are less likely to attend school compared to those living with other relatives. This is probably due to the fact that income losses associated with the death of a parent is significantly high and the resulting increase in household poverty has a large negative impact on school enrollment or orphans who continue to live in the same household. Such a scenario is very likely in Malawi where the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS has meant that death rates among income earning young adults are especially high. It may also be due to the fact that orphans are adopted by relatively wealthier relatives who are less constrained financially.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia with number 25666.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25666

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Keywords: Labor and Human Capital;

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  1. Behrman, Jere R, 1996. "The Impact of Health and Nutrition on Education," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 23-37, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Mather, David, 2011. "Poverty, AIDS, Orphanhood, Gender, and Child Schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of the Evidence," Food Security International Development Working Papers 119319, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  2. Jens Hagen & Toman Omar Mahmoud & Natalia Trofimenko, 2010. "Orphanhood and Critical Periods in Children’s Human Capital Formation: Long-Run Evidence from North-Western Tanzania," Kiel Working Papers 1649, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Hagen, Jens & Omar Mahmoud, Toman & Trofimenko, Natalia, 2010. "Orphanhood and Critical Periods in Children's Human Capital Formation: Long-Run Evidence from North-Western Tanzania," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 33, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  4. Kevin Thomas, 2010. "Family Contexts and Schooling Disruption among Orphans in Post-Genocide Rwanda," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 29(6), pages 819-842, December.
  5. Ueyama, Mika, 2007. "Mortality, mobility, and schooling outcomes among orphans: Evidence from Malawi," IFPRI discussion papers 710, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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