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Child Ability and Household Human Capital Investment Decisions in Burkina Faso

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Author Info

  • Akresh, Richard

    ()
    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

  • Bagby, Emilie

    ()
    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

  • de Walque, Damien

    ()
    (World Bank)

  • Kazianga, Harounan

    ()
    (Oklahoma State University)

Abstract

Using data we collected in rural Burkina Faso, we examine how children's cognitive abilities influence resource constrained households' decisions to invest in their education. We use a direct measure of child ability for all primary school-aged children, regardless of current school enrollment. We explicitly incorporate direct measures of the ability of each child's siblings (both absolute and relative measures) to show how sibling rivalry exerts an impact on the parent's decision of whether and how much to invest in their child’s education. We find children with one standard deviation higher own ability are 16 percent more likely to be currently enrolled, while having a higher ability sibling lowers current enrollment by 16 percent and having two higher ability siblings lowers enrollment by 30 percent. Results are robust to addressing the potential reverse causality of schooling influencing child ability measures and using alternative cognitive tests to measure ability.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5326.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2012, 61 (1), 157-186
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5326

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Keywords: sibling rivalry; child ability; household decisions; education; Africa;

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References

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  1. Joseph Price, 2008. "Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  2. Emerson, Patrick M. & Souza, André Portela, 2008. "Birth Order, Child Labor, and School Attendance in Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1647-1664, September.
  3. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Children's Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 669-700, May.
  4. Masako Ota & Peter Moffatt, 2007. "The within-household schooling decision: a study of children in rural Andhra Pradesh," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 223-239, February.
  5. Ana Dammert, 2010. "Siblings, child labor, and schooling in Nicaragua and Guatemala," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 199-224, January.
  6. Eric V. Edmonds, 2007. "Child Labor," NBER Working Papers 12926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Butcher, Kristin F & Case, Anne, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-63, August.
  8. Melissa Binder, 1998. "Family background, gender and schooling in Mexico," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(2), pages 54-71.
  9. Harounan Kazianga, 2004. "Schooling Returns for Wage Earners in Burkina Faso: Evidence from the 1994 and 1998 National Surveys," Working Papers 892, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  10. Aizer, Anna, 2004. "Home alone: supervision after school and child behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1835-1848, August.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:cge:warwcg:22 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Mohammad Niaz Asadullah, Nazmul Chaudhury, 2013. "Primary Schooling, Student Learning, and School Quality in Rural Bangladesh-Working Paper 349," Working Papers 349, Center for Global Development.
  3. Lindskog, Annika, 2011. "Does a Diversification Motive Influence Children’s School Entry in the Ethiopian Highlands?," Working Papers in Economics 494, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  4. Richard Akresh & Emilie Bagby & Daien de Walque & Harounan Kazianga, 2012. "Child Labor, Schooling, and Child Ability," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7478, Mathematica Policy Research.
  5. KUEPIE Mathias & SHAPIRO David & TENIKUE Michel, 2013. "Access to Schooling and Staying in School in Sub-Saharan Africa," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2013-16, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  6. Manisha Shah & Bryce Millett Steinberg, 2013. "Drought of Opportunities: Contemporaneous and Long Term Impacts of Rainfall Shocks on Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 19140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dendir, Seife, 2013. "Children.s endowment, schooling, and work in Ethiopia," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  8. Akresh, Richard & de Walque, Damien & Kazianga, Harounan, 2013. "Cash transfers and child schooling : evidence from a randomized evaluation of the role of conditionality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6340, The World Bank.
  9. Paul Frijters & David Johnston & Manisha Shah & Michael Shields, 2013. "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation: Do Parents Reduce or Reinforce Child Ability Gaps?," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(6), pages 2187-2208, December.
  10. Tom S. Vogl, 2012. "Education and Health in Developing Economies," Working Papers 1453, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  11. Kazianga, Harounan & de Walque, Damien & Alderman, Harold, 2014. "School feeding programs, intrahousehold allocation and the nutrition of siblings: Evidence from a randomized trial in rural Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 15-34.

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