Credit Program Participation and Child Schooling in Rural Malawi
Summary We evaluate the impact of agricultural credit program participation on children's school attendance in rural Malawi. Our paired-site sampling survey reveals that credit uptake decreased school attendance by young girl children. This finding raises concerns that young girl children are exploited as child labor, either at home or in the field, when working adults become more involved in income-generating activities financed by credit. The data, however, do not show clear evidence for young girls staying at home to do household chores or working in the fields in households that obtained credit, but instead find simultaneous occurrence between attending school and taking responsibilities for domestic chores by young children. It would appear, therefore, that credit uptake delays the realization of this concurrence among young girl children and leads to delayed school enrollment.
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