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Risk, Network Quality, and Family Structure: Child Fostering Decisions in Burkina Faso

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  • Richard Akresh

    ()
    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

Researchers often assume household structure is exogenous, but child fostering, the institution in which parents send their biological children to live with another family, is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa and provides evidence against this assumption. Using data I collected in Burkina Faso, I analyze a household's decision to adjust its size and composition through fostering. A household fosters children as a risk-coping mechanism in response to exogenous income shocks, if it has a good social network, and to satisfy labor demands within the household. Increases of one standard deviation in a household's agricultural shock, percentage of good network members, or number of older girls increase the probability of sending a child above the current fostering level by 29.1, 30.0, and 34.5 percent, respectively. Testing whether factors influencing the sending decision have an opposite impact on the receiving decision leads to a rejection of the symmetric, theoretical model for child fostering.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 902.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:902

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Keywords: Child Fostering; Risk-coping; Social Networks; Household Structure;

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References

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  1. Marcel Fafchamps & Susan Lund, 2000. "Risk-Sharing Networks in Rural Philippines," Economics Series Working Papers 10, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Marcel Fafchamps & Jackline Wahba, 2004. "Child Labor, Urban Proximity, and Household Composition," Economics Series Working Papers 213, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Richard Akresh, 2004. "Adjusting Household Structure: School Enrollment Impacts of Child Fostering in Burkina Faso," Working Papers 897, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  4. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
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  6. UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 1999. "Child Domestic Work," Innocenti Digest inndig99/17, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
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  8. Eric Edmonds & Kristin Mammen & Douglas L. Miller, 2004. "Rearranging the Family? Income Support and Elderly Living Arrangements in a Low Income Country," NBER Working Papers 10306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-26, August.
  10. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1989. "Credit Market Constraints, Consumption Smoothing and the Accumulation of Durable Production Assets in Low-Income Countries: Investments in Bullocks in India," Bulletins 7487, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  11. Udry, Christopher, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526, July.
  12. David Bishai & Heena Brahmbhatt & Ron Gray & Godfrey Kigozi & David Serwadda & Nelson Sewankambo & El Daw Suliman & Fred Wabwire-Mangen & Maria Wawer, 2003. "Does biological relatedness affect child survival?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 8(9), pages 261-278, May.
  13. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
  14. Case, Anne & Lin, I-Fen & McLanahan, Sara, 2000. "How Hungry Is the Selfish Gene?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 781-804, October.
  15. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Social Networks and Labor-Market Outcomes: Toward an Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1407-18, December.
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Cited by:
  1. de Walque, Damien, 2005. "Parental education and children's schooling outcomes : is the effect nature, nurture, or both? evidence from recomposed families in Rwanda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3483, The World Bank.
  2. La Ferrara, Eliana, 2007. "Descent Rules and Strategic Transfers. Evidence from Matrilineal Groups in Ghana," CEPR Discussion Papers 6111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Christopher Ksoll, 2007. "Family Networks and Orphan Caretaking in Tanzania," Economics Series Working Papers 361, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Akresh, Richard, 2004. "Adjusting Household Structure: School Enrollment Impacts of Child Fostering in Burkina Faso," IZA Discussion Papers 1379, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Michael Grimm, 2008. "Food price inflation and schooling," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 174, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Marcel Fafchamps & Jackline Wahba, 2004. "Child Labor, Urban Proximity, and Household Composition," Economics Series Working Papers 213, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes R. Quisumbing, 2006. "Household Formation and Marriage Markets," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-039, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Angelucci, Manuela & De Giorgi, Giacomo & Rangel, Marcos A. & Rasul, Imran, 2010. "Family networks and school enrolment: Evidence from a randomized social experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 197-221, April.
  9. Michael Grimm, 2008. "Food Price Inflation and Children's Schooling," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 844, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  10. Serra, Renata, 2009. "Child fostering in Africa: When labor and schooling motives may coexist," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 157-170, January.
  11. Lauren Bachan, 2014. "Anticipatory child fostering and household economic security in Malawi," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(40), pages 1157-1188, April.

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