Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Breaking the Net: Family Structure and Street Children in Zambia

Contents:

Author Info

  • Francesco Strobbe
  • Claudia Olivetti
  • Mireille Jacobson

Abstract

The safety net provided by the African extended family has traditionally been the basis for the assertion that “there is no such thing as an orphan in Africa” (Foster 2000). The assumption is that even families lacking sufficient resources to properly care for existing members are predisposed to take in orphans. Chronic poverty, coupled with an increasing malaria burden and the HIV/AIDS pandemic, has put this safety-net under severe strain, giving rise to an increasing number of orphans and vulnerable children and, in the extreme, to “street children.” Drawing on original fieldwork in the slums of Ndola in Northern Zambia we study the role of family structure in caring for vulnerable children. We try to isolate those features of a child’s nuclear and extended family that put him most at risk of ending up on the streets. We find that older, male children and particularly orphaned children are more likely to wind up on the street. Families with a male household head who is in poor health are more likely to originate street children. The educational level, age and employment status of the male head of household has little impact on the likelihood the family is associated with a child who has taken to the street. In contrast, households with surviving maternal grandparents or with a male head who has many sisters are significantly less likely to originate street children. These findings support the critical role that women play in poor countries, highlighting the importance of policies aimed at empowering women. At the same time, our findings show that policies aimed at improving the health of the male head of household can also yield important benefits. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that moving male heads from poor to good self-rated health status can increase the rate of GDP growth by as much as 0.20 to 0.33 of a percentage point per year.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.bwpi.manchester.ac.uk/medialibrary/publications/working_papers/bwpi-wp-11110.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by BWPI, The University of Manchester in its series Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series with number 11110.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:11110

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Humanities Bridgeford Street, Oxford Road,Manchester, M13 9PL
Phone: +44(0)7717 881567
Web page: http://www.bwpi.manchester.ac.uk/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. McDonald, Scott & Roberts, Jennifer, 2006. "AIDS and economic growth: A human capital approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 228-250, June.
  2. Stefan Dercon & Kathleen Beegle, 2007. "Adult Mortality and Consumption Growth in the Age of HIV/AIDS," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2007-02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Takashi Yamano & Thomas S. Jayne, 2005. "Working-age Adult Mortality and Primary Sschool Attendance in Rural Kenya," Development and Comp Systems 0502017, EconWPA.
  4. Anne Case & Cally Ardington, 2005. "The impact of parental death on school enrollment and achievement: Longitudinal evidence from South Africa," Working Papers 168, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  5. Evans, David & Miguel, Edward A., 2005. "Orphans and Schooling in Africa: A Longitudinal Analysis," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt14w3s2fh, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  6. Veni Naidu & Geoff Harris, 2005. "The Impact Of Hiv/Aids Morbidity And Mortality On Households - A Review Of Household Studies," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 73(s1), pages 533-544, December.
  7. Clive Bell & Shantayanan Devarajan & Hans Gersbach, 2006. "The Long-Run Economic Costs of aids: A Model with an Application to South Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 55-89.
  8. C Arndt & J D Lewis, 2000. "The Macro Implications of HIV/AIDS in South Africa: A Preliminary Assessment," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 68(5), pages 380-392, December.
  9. Alwyn Young, 2005. "The Gift of the Dying: The Tragedy of Aids and the Welfare of Future African Generations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 423-466, May.
  10. Bloom, David E. & Mahal, Ajay S., 1997. "Does the AIDS epidemic threaten economic growth?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 105-124, March.
  11. Christopher Ksoll, 2007. "Family Networks and Orphan Caretaking in Tanzania," Economics Series Working Papers 361, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:11110. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rowena Harding).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.