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Child labor, schooling, and child ability

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

Abstract

Using data collected in rural Burkina Faso, this paper examines how children's cognitive abilities influence households'decisions to invest in their education. To address the endogeneity of child ability measures, the analysis uses rainfall shocks experienced in utero or early childhood to instrument for ability. Negative shocks in utero lead to 0.24 standard deviations lower ability z-scores, corresponding with a 38 percent enrollment drop and a 49 percent increase in child labor hours compared with their siblings. Negative education impacts are largest for in utero shocks, diminished for shocks before age two, and have no impact for shocks after age two. The paper links the fetal origins hypothesis and sibling rivalry literatures by showing that shocks experienced in utero not only have direct negative impacts on the child's cognitive ability (fetal origins hypothesis), but also negatively impact the child through the effects on sibling rivalry resulting from the cognitive differences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5965.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5965

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Related research

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

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References

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  1. S Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Childrens Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0050, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  2. 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.
  3. Sharon Maccini & Dean Yang, 2009. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1006-26, June.
  4. 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.
  5. Karen Macours & Norbert Schady & Renos Vakis, 2012. "Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 247-73, April.
  6. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," NBER Working Papers 13810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Aizer, Anna, 2004. "Home alone: supervision after school and child behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1835-1848, August.
  8. Bundervoet, Tom & Verwimp, Philip & Akresh, Richard, 2007. "Health and Civil War in Rural Burundi," IZA Discussion Papers 2951, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Richard Akresh & Eric V. Edmonds, 2011. "Residential Rivalry and Constraints on the Availability of Child Labor," NBER Working Papers 17165, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2004. "Long Term Consequences Of Early Childhood Malnutrition," HiCN Working Papers 09, Households in Conflict Network.
  11. 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.
  12. Eric Edmonds, 2007. "Child Labor," Working Papers id:988, eSocialSciences.
  13. Tania Barham, 2012. "Enhancing Cognitive Functioning: Medium-Term Effects of a Health and Family Planning Program in Matlab," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 245-73, January.
  14. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev H & Gatti, Roberta, 2004. "The Education, Labour Market and Health Consequences of Child Labour," CEPR Discussion Papers 4443, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. 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.
  16. Ana Dammert, 2010. "Siblings, child labor, and schooling in Nicaragua and Guatemala," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 199-224, January.
  17. Levison, Deborah & Moe, Karine S. & Marie Knaul, Felicia, 2001. "Youth Education and Work in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 167-188, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sylvia Frühwirth-Schnatter & Martin Halla & Alexandra Posekany & Gerald J. Pruckner & Thomas Schober, 2014. "Parental Response to Early Human Capital Shocks: Evidence from the Chernobyl Accident," NRN working papers 2014-02, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. 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.
  3. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2013. "Fetal origins and parental responses," Working Paper Series WP-2012-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Richard Akresh & Damien de Walque & Harounan Kazianga, 2013. "Cash Transfers and Child Schooling: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation of the Role of Conditionality," Economics Working Paper Series 1301, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
  5. Catherine Araujo Bonjean & Stéphanie Brunelin & Catherine Simonet, 2012. "Impact of climate related shocks on child's health in Burkina Faso," Working Papers halshs-00725253, HAL.
  6. 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).

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