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Horticultural exports, female wage employment and primary school enrolment: Theory and evidence from a natural quasi-experiment in Senegal

  • Maertens, Miet
  • Verhofstadt, Ellen

In this paper we analyse the indirect effects of the boom in horticultural exports in Senegal on child schooling. The export boom has caused a dramatic increase in female off-farm wage employment, which led to increased female bargaining power in the household. We investigate the causal effect of female wage income on primary school enrolment. We develop a collective household model with endogenous bargaining power to show that, if women have higher preferences for schooling than men, the impact of female wage income on school enrolment will be the result of a positive income effect, a negative labour substitution effect and a positive empowerment effect. We address the question empirically using original household survey data from Senegal. We use different econometric techniques and show that female off-farm wage income has a positive effect on primary school enrolment, and that the effect is larger for girls than for boys. Our results imply that the horticultural export boom in Senegal has indirectly contributed to the second and third Millennium Development Goals of universal primary education and elimination of gender disparities in primary education.

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Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil with number 126856.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:126856
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  1. Kaushik Basu & Sanghamitra Das & Bhaskar Dutta, 2007. "Child labor and household wealth: Theory and empirical evidence of an inverted-U," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 07-01, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
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  9. Gitter, Seth R. & Barham, Bradford, 2007. "Women's Power, Conditional Cash Transfers and Schooling in Nicaragua," Staff Paper Series 517, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
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  11. Geoffrey Lancaster & Pushkar Maitra & Ranjan Ray, 2006. "Endogenous Intra-household Balance of Power and its Impact on Expenditure Patterns: Evidence from India," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(291), pages 435-460, 08.
  12. Tansel, Aysit, 1997. "Schooling Attainment, Parental Education, and Gender in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(4), pages 825-56, July.
  13. Miet Maertens, 2009. "Horticulture exports, agro-industrialization, and farm-nonfarm linkages with the smallholder farm sector: evidence from Senegal," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(2), pages 219-229, 03.
  14. Lincove, Jane Arnold, 2009. "Determinants of schooling for boys and girls in Nigeria under a policy of free primary education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 474-484, August.
  15. Duncan Thomas, 1994. "Like Father, like Son; Like Mother, like Daughter: Parental Resources and Child Height," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 950-988.
  16. André Portela Souza, 2007. "Child Labor, School Attendance, and Intrahousehold Gender Bias in Brazil," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 301-316, March.
  17. Miet Maertens & Bart Minten & Johan Swinnen, 2012. "Modern Food Supply Chains and Development: Evidence from Horticulture Export Sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 30(4), pages 473-497, 07.
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