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Risk, Network Quality, and Family Structure: Child Fostering Decisions in Burkina Faso

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  • Akresh, Richard

Abstract

Researchers often assume household structure is exogenous, but child fostering, the institution in which parents send their biological children to live with another family, is widespread in sub- Saharan Africa and provides evidence against this assumption. Using data I collected in Burkina Faso, I analyze a household's decision to adjust its size and composition through fostering. A household fosters children as a risk-coping mechanism in response to exogenous income shocks, if it has a good social network, and to satisfy labor demands within the household. Increases of one standard deviation in a household's agricultural shock, percentage of good network members, or number of older girls increase the probability of sending a child above the current fostering level by 29.1, 30.0, and 34.5 percent, respectively. Testing whether factors influencing the sending decision have an opposite impact on the receiving decision leads to a rejection of the symmetric, theoretical model for child fostering.

Suggested Citation

  • Akresh, Richard, 2005. "Risk, Network Quality, and Family Structure: Child Fostering Decisions in Burkina Faso," Center Discussion Papers 28454, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:yaleeg:28454
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes R. Quisumbing, 2006. "Household Formation and Marriage Markets," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-039, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Angelucci, Manuela & De Giorgi, Giacomo & Rangel, Marcos A. & Rasul, Imran, 2010. "Family networks and school enrolment: Evidence from a randomized social experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 197-221, April.
    3. Anne Case & Christina Paxson & Joseph Ableidinger, 2004. "Orphans in Africa: parental death, poverty, and school enrollment," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(3), pages 483-508, August.
    4. Akresh, Richard, 2004. "Adjusting Household Structure: School Enrollment Impacts of Child Fostering in Burkina Faso," Center Discussion Papers 28521, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    5. Michael Grimm, 2008. "Food price inflation and schooling," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 174, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    6. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:4:p:827-846 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Fafchamps, Marcel & Wahba, Jackline, 2006. "Child labor, urban proximity, and household composition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 374-397, April.
    8. La Ferrara, Eliana, 2007. "Descent rules and strategic transfers. Evidence from matrilineal groups in Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 280-301, July.
    9. Serra, Renata, 2009. "Child fostering in Africa: When labor and schooling motives may coexist," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 157-170, January.
    10. de Walque, Damien, 2005. "Parental education and children's schooling outcomes : is the effect nature, nurture, or both? evidence from recomposed families in Rwanda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3483, The World Bank.
    11. Grimm, Michael, 2011. "Does household income matter for children's schooling? Evidence for rural Sub-Saharan Africa," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 740-754, August.
    12. Christopher Ksoll, 2007. "Family Networks and Orphan Caretaking in Tanzania," Economics Series Working Papers 361, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    13. Michael Grimm, 2008. "Food Price Inflation and Children's Schooling," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 844, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    14. Lauren Bachan, 2014. "Anticipatory child fostering and household economic security in Malawi," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(40), pages 1157-1188, April.
    15. Grimm, Michael & Hartwig, Renate & Lay, Jann, 2017. "Does forced solidarity hamper investment in small and micro enterprises?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 827-846.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer/Household Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General

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