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Child ability and household human capital investment decisions in Burkina Faso

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  • Akresh, Richard
  • Bagby, Emilie
  • de Walque, Damien
  • Kazianga, Harounan

Abstract

Using data they collected in rural Burkina Faso, the authors examine how children's cognitive abilities influence resource constrained households'decisions to invest in their education. This paper uses a direct measure of child ability for all primary school-aged children, regardless of current school enrollment. The analysis explicitly incorporates 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 parents’ decision of whether and how much to invest in their child’s education. The findings indicate that 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. The 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 The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5370.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5370

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Keywords: Educational Sciences; Youth and Governance; Primary Education; Gender and Law; Street Children;

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References

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  1. Eric Edmonds, 2007. "Child Labor," Working Papers id:988, eSocialSciences.
  2. 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.
  3. Joseph Price, 2008. "Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  4. Patrick M. Emerson & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "Birth Order, Child Labor and School Attendance in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0212, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  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. Ota, Masako & Peter G. Moffatt, 2002. "The Within-household Schooling Decision: A Study of Children in Rural Andhra Pradesh," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 152, Royal Economic Society.
  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. 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.
  9. Melissa Binder, 1998. "Family background, gender and schooling in Mexico," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(2), pages 54-71.
  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. Akresh, Richard & Bagby, Emilie & de Walque, Damien & Kazianga, Harounan, 2012. "Child labor, schooling, and child ability," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5965, The World Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. 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..
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. repec:cge:warwcg:22 is not listed on IDEAS

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