Child Ability and Household Human Capital Investment Decisions in Burkina Faso
AbstractUsing 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 InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5326.
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
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Other versions of this item:
- Richard Akresh & Emilie Bagby & Damien de Walque & Harounan Kazianga, 2012. "Child Ability and Household Human Capital Investment Decisions in Burkina Faso," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(1), pages 157 - 186.
- Akresh, Richard & Bagby, Emilie & de Walque, Damien & Kazianga, Harounan, 2010. "Child ability and household human capital investment decisions in Burkina Faso," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5370, The World Bank.
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-12-04 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2010-12-04 (Development)
- NEP-HRM-2010-12-04 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2010-12-04 (Labour Economics)
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