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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. Tom Bundervoet & Philip Verwimp & Richard Akresh, 2008. "Health and Civil War in Rural Burundi," Research Working Papers 5, MICROCON - A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  5. Alderman,Harold & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," FCND discussion papers 168, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  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. 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.
  10. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  11. 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.
  12. Macours, Karen & Schady, Norbert & Vakis, Renos, 2008. "Cash transfers, behavioral changes, and cognitive development in early childhood : evidence from a randomized experiment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4759, The World Bank.
  13. Ana Dammert, 2010. "Siblings, child labor, and schooling in Nicaragua and Guatemala," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 199-224, January.
  14. 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.
  15. Aizer, Anna, 2004. "Home alone: supervision after school and child behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1835-1848, August.
  16. 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.
  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. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2013. "Fetal origins and parental responses," Working Paper Series WP-2012-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  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. Halla, Martin & Zweimüller, Martina, 2014. "Parental Response to Early Human Capital Shocks: Evidence from the Chernobyl Accident," IZA Discussion Papers 7968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  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. 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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