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Cognitive skills among children in Senegal: Disentangling the roles of schooling and family background

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  • Glick, Peter
  • Sahn, David E.

Abstract

We use unique data to estimate the determinants of cognitive ability among 14-17-year olds in Senegal. Unlike standard school-based samples, tests were administered to current students as well as to children no longer - or never - enrolled. Years of schooling strongly affects cognitive skills, but conditional on years of school, parental education and household wealth, as well as local public school quality, have surprisingly modest effects on test performance. Instead, family background primarily affects skills indirectly through its impacts on years of schooling. Therefore closing the schooling gaps between poor and wealthy children will also close most of the gap in cognitive skills between these groups.

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  • Glick, Peter & Sahn, David E., 2009. "Cognitive skills among children in Senegal: Disentangling the roles of schooling and family background," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 178-188, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:28:y:2009:i:2:p:178-188
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    1. Francesca Marchetta & David E. Sahn, 2016. "The Role of Education and Family Background in Marriage, Childbearing, and Labor Market Participation in Senegal," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(2), pages 369-403.
    2. Jones, Sam, 2016. "How does classroom composition affect learning outcomes in Ugandan primary schools?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 66-78.
    3. David SAHN & Catalina HERRERA, 2014. "The Impact of Early Childbearing on Schooling and Cognitive Skills among Young Women in Madagascar," Working Papers 201428, CERDI.
    4. Hady Senghor & François-Charles Wolff, 2017. "Educational Inequalities between Siblings: Evidence from Six Sub-Saharan African Countries," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 29(2), pages 223-236, June.
    5. Sameh Hallaq, 2020. "First Palestinian Intifada and Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_965, Levy Economics Institute.
    6. Cyril Pasche, 2008. "What is it About Schooling That the Labor Market Rewards? The Components of the Return to Schooling," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0029, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    7. Basu, Kaushik, 2006. "Participatory Equity, Identity, and Productivity: Policy Implications for Promoting Development," Working Papers 06-06, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
    8. Catalina Herrera Almanza & David E. Sahn, 2020. "Childhood determinants of internal youth migration in Senegal," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 43(45), pages 1335-1366.
    9. Huang, Jin, 2013. "Intergenerational transmission of educational attainment: The role of household assets," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 112-123.
    10. Pr Henri Atangana Ondoa, 2018. "The effects of heavily indebted poor countries initiative (HIPC) on millennium development goals (MDGs) for education," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 76(4), pages 453-479, October.
    11. Kaila, Heidi & Sahn, David E. & Sunder, Naveen, 2018. "Early Life Determinants of Cognitive Ability: A Comparative Study on Madagascar and Senegal," IZA Discussion Papers 11550, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Soler-Hampejsek, Erica & Mensch, Barbara S. & Psaki, Stephanie R. & Grant, Monica J. & Kelly, Christine A. & Hewett, Paul C., 2018. "Reading and numeracy skills after school leaving in southern Malawi: A longitudinal analysis," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 86-99.
    13. Chowa, Gina A.N. & Masa, Rainier D. & Wretman, Christopher J. & Ansong, David, 2013. "The impact of household possessions on youth's academic achievement in the Ghana Youthsave experiment: A propensity score analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 69-81.
    14. Felfe, Christina & Deuchert. Eva, 2011. "The tempest: Using a natural disaster to evaluate the link between wealth and child development," Economics Working Paper Series 1146, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    15. Florence Neymotin, 2014. "How Parental Involvement Affects Childhood Behavioral Outcomes," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 433-451, December.

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