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School Attendance, Child Labour And Gender Bias In Morocco

Listed author(s):
  • Veneziani Mario


    (DISCE, Università Cattolica)

Using cross-sectional data and employing probit models, the paper investigates child school attendance and labour in Morocco. Results indicate that education is a luxury good which can be purchased more easily by the non-poor. Moreover, a child is more likely to be in school if he/she is residing in an urban area and is the son/daughter of the head of the household. However, the Body Mass Index (BMI) - used to account for the impact of proper nutrition status on attendance probability - deters school attendance. More detailed empirical evidence is obtained by estimating the same type of models on gender based subsamples. Poverty status, household size and the provincial average of time taken to travel to school in minutes lessen the probability of female school attendance. If a female child lives in a household headed by a female, the pupil should have higher likelihood of school attendance. Besides being a quite common result, this occurrence can be employed to devise a policy initiative of disbursing to the female head a monetary or in-kind transfer devoted to pupils’ education which can be most cost-effective in closing the gender gap as required by the second Millennium Development Goal (MDG). The probability of a male going to school is limited by the significant role of some regional location dummies and living with an aged household head. The variables which are significant in both single-genders models generate higher probabilistic effects for females compared to males. As expected, the child labour models estimate coefficients which are most of the time opposite in sign to the ones in the educational. The variable which is consistently associated with a negative influence on the dependent variable is the age of the household head. The significance of the yearly per capita expenditure in the child labour investigations might be driven by some endogeneity or the inclusion of asset variables. Besides the econometric problem, it undermines the confidence attached to the implementation of a cash/in-kind transfers devoted to curb child labour and promote school attendance. Industry localization effects and complementarity in within-household labour choices are present. The investigation carried out on gender-specific samples finds a inverted U shaped female trajectory in age probably due to early pregnancy. Moreover, poverty condition improves males probability of working while it diminishes female’s school participation.

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Paper provided by Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE) in its series DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali with number dises0854.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Publication status: Published as Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali, Serie Rossa: Economia, Quaderno N. 54, December 2008, pages 1-56
Handle: RePEc:ctc:serie2:dises0854
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