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Risk and Schooling Decisions in Rural Madagascar: a Panel Data Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Flore Gubert

    () (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

  • Anne-Sophie Robilliard

    () (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

Abstract

(english) Most households in rural Madagascar are engaged in agriculture and derive a large share of their income from the production of food or cash crops and from animal husbandry. However, agricultural yields can be extremely volatile due to weather conditions, pests, insects, rodents and other calamities. As a result, households record large fluctuations in their incomes that must be dealt with. Since the usual consumption-smoothing market mechanisms are quite limited in the Malagasy context, households need to rely on nonmarket mechanisms or to adopt multi-faceted strategies to cope with risk. In this paper, we examine the possibility that parents obtain informal income insurance by letting their children work. We test this hypothesis by examining the relationship between household income shocks and human capital investment in children. In particular, we investigate whether children’s propensity to join school and to drop out of school responds to transient shocks. We also investigate issues such as gender and intrahousehold resource allocation. _________________________________ (français) La plupart des ménages ruraux malgaches tirent l’essentiel de leurs revenus de l’agriculture et sont exposés à un fort degré d’incertitude en raison de la fréquence et de l’intensité des aléas frappant les champs de culture ou les troupeaux. En l’absence de marchés du crédit ou de l’assurance, des moyens alternatifs pour éliminer ou atténuer les conséquences défavorables de cette incertitude doivent être trouvés par les ménages. Dans cet article, nous envisageons la possibilité que la mise au travail des enfants constitue un mécanisme de gestion des risques. Afin de tester cette hypothèse, nous examinons les déterminants de la scolarisation en cycle primaire d’un échantillon d’enfants issus de ménages ruraux. Nous examinons notamment le rôle des chocs de revenu subis par les ménages sur les probabilités d’entrée (dans) et de sortie hors de l’école de leurs membres en âge d’être scolarisés, en portant une attention particulière aux questions de genre et d’allocation intra-ménage des ressources. Les résultats indiquent que les chocs transitoires de revenu ont un impact significatif sur la probabilité de sortie de l’école mais pas sur la probabilité d’entrer à l’école. Cela suggère que la déscolarisation des enfants les plus âgés constitue un mécanisme de gestion du risque pour les ménages ruraux.

Suggested Citation

  • Flore Gubert & Anne-Sophie Robilliard, 2006. "Risk and Schooling Decisions in Rural Madagascar: a Panel Data Analysis," Working Papers DT/2006/08, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  • Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200608
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    File URL: http://www.dial.ird.fr/media/ird-sites-d-unites-de-recherche/dial/documents/publications/doc_travail/2006/2006-08
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    Cited by:

    1. Fitzsimons, Emla & Mesnard, Alice, 2013. "Can conditional cash transfers compensate for a father's absence ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6476, The World Bank.
    2. Thomas, Anne-Claire & Gaspart, Frédéric, 2015. "Does Poverty Trap Rural Malagasy Households?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 490-505.
    3. VERHEYDEN Bertrand & FAYE Ousmane, 2011. "Fertility and Child Occupation: Theory and Evidence from Senegal," LISER Working Paper Series 2011-59, LISER.
    4. Delpierre, Matthieu & Verheyden, Bertrand & Weynants, Stéphanie, 2016. "Is informal risk-sharing less effective for the poor? Risk externalities and moral hazard in mutual insurance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 282-297.
    5. DELPIERRE Matthieu & VERHEYDEN Bertrand & WEYNANTS Stéphanie, 2011. "On the interaction between risk-taking and risk-sharing under farm household wealth heterogeneity," LISER Working Paper Series 2011-35, LISER.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10594 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Emla Fitzsimons & Alice Mesnard, 2012. "How children's schooling and work are affected when their father leaves permanently: evidence from Colombia," IFS Working Papers W12/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    8. Andrew D. Foster & Esther Gehrke, 2017. "Consumption Risk and Human Capital Accumulation in India," NBER Working Papers 24041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Fitzsimons, Emla & Mesnard, Alice, 2012. "How children’s schooling and work is affected when their father leaves permanently: Evidence from Colombia," CEPR Discussion Papers 8886, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Schooling decisions; Transitory shocks; Risk-coping strategies; Décision de scolarisation; Chocs transitoires; Stratégies de gestion des risques.;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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