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Orphanhood and Critical Periods in Children’s Human Capital Formation: Long-Run Evidence from North-Western Tanzania

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  • Jens Hagen
  • Toman Omar Mahmoud
  • Natalia Trofimenko

Abstract

Losing a parent is a trauma that has consequences for human capital formation. Does it matter at what age this trauma occurs? Using longitudinal data from the Kagera region in Tanzania that span thirteen years from 1991-2004, we find considerable impact heterogeneity across age at bereavement, but less so for the death of opposite-sex parents. In terms of long-term health status as measured by body height, children who lose their same-sex parent before teenage years are hit hardest. Regarding years of formal education attained in young adulthood, boys whose fathers die before adolescence suffer the most. Maternal bereavement does not fit into this pattern as it affects educational attainment of younger and older children in a similar way. The generally strong interaction between age at parental death and sex of the late parent suggests that the preferences of the surviving parent partly protect same-sex children from orphanhood’s detrimental effects on human capital accumulation

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File URL: http://www.ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de/publications/orphanhood-and-critical-periods-in-children2019s-human-capital-formation-long-run-evidence-from-north-western-tanzania-1/orphans.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1649.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1649

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Keywords: orphans; health; education; timing of parental death; child development; Tanzania;

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Cited by:
  1. Levina, Irina, 2013. "Problem of orphanhood in Russia: Analysis of cultural, economic and political aspects," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 29(1), pages 3-28.
  2. Youyou BAENDE BOFOTA, 2013. "The impact of social capital on children educational outcomes: The case of Tanzania," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013003, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

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