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Parental Characteristics, Supply of Schools, and Child School-enrolment in Pakistan

  • Nadeem A. Burney

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)

  • Mohammad Irfan

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)

In recent years, due to a virtual unanimity about the critical role of human capital in economic development, increased efforts are being made in the developing countries to eradicate illiteracy. Despite a significant increase over time in the number of educational institutions and the government's expenditure on education in Pakistan, the performance of the education sector in terms of output has been at best meagre. This non-correspondence between the growth in the educational institutions and the resultant output implies that failure to enlist the participation of the population in education can hardly be attributed exclusively to an insufficiency of the schools. To the extent that child schooling reflects parental capacity to invest in human capital formation, there is a need to reckon with factors bearing parental decision regarding child schooling. This paper investigates family's decision regarding child schooling through an assessment of the determinants of child school-enrolment, using choice theoretic framework. The regression results are indicative of the influence of household status, both economic and social, on the propensity to invest in child schooling. A positive association between the household income, parental education, and tenurial status as land-owner bear out the importance of these factors in shaping the household's decision regarding investment in human capital formation. The study also finds traces of the quantity-quality trade-off in family's preferences regarding the number of children, and it is found to be male-specific. The most disturbing finding of the study appears to be the predominance of the influence originating from parental education. It is this inter-generational transfer of human capital which needs more attention as it also implies that illiteracy, and hence poverty, of the parents gets transmitted to the off-spring. The analysis also brings out the fact that the labour market hiring practices serve as an important feedback to the household's human capital formation behaviour.

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Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

Volume (Year): 30 (1991)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 21-62

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Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:30:y:1991:i:1:p:21-62
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  1. Behrman, Jere R & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1984. "A More General Approach to Fertility Determination in a Developing Country: The Importance of Biological Supply Considerations, Endogenous Tastes and Unperceived Jointness," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 51(23), pages 319-39, August.
  2. Judith Blake, 1981. "Family size and the quality of children," Demography, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 421-442, November.
  3. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Testing the Quantity-Quality Fertility Model: The Use of Twins as a Natural Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 227-40, January.
  4. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1981. "Qualitative Response Models: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 1483-1536, December.
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