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Fertility and Child Occupation: Theory and Evidence from Senegal

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  • VERHEYDEN Bertrand
  • FAYE Ousmane

Abstract

This paper analyzes household fertility and child occupation decisions in a risky environment. Fertility decisions are made fi?rst, when only the distribution of shocks is known. When shocks are realized and fertility is ?xed, parents adapt by allocating children?s occupations, i.e. school, paid work and domestic chores. Fertility is decreasing with the shock probability and increasing with parental permanent income. Households facing an adverse shock make more use of child labor and send fewer children to school, unless the total number of children is small. These predictions are tested with data from the Senegalese SEHW (2003) following this two-step methodology. A Poisson model estimates the number of children with classical instruments and household-level information on shock distribution, con?rming the theory?s predictions on fertility. A multivariate Tobit model estimates the determinants of children occupations, including the occurrence of shocks and accounting for the endogeneity of fertility. The number of children increases (decreases) the probability of child specialization (multiple activities). Shock-related variables have an adverse e¤ect on schooling.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEPS/INSTEAD in its series CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series with number 2011-59.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2011-59

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Keywords: Fertility; education; child labor; shocks;

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  1. Flore Gubert & Anne-Sophie Robilliard, 2008. "Risk and Schooling Decisions in Rural Madagascar: A Panel Data-Analysis," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 17(2), pages 207-238, March.
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  7. Chernichovsky, Dov, 1985. "Socioeconomic and Demographic Aspects of School Enrollment and Attendance in Rural Botswana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 319-32, January.
  8. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
  9. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Testing the Quantity-Quality Fertility Model: The Use of Twins as a Natural Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 227-40, January.
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