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A Lost Generation? Long Term Socioeconomic Outcomes in Orphans

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  • Carlos Bozzoli

Abstract

Previous research on orphanhood has established that parental death has a negative effect in terms of school enrollment and grade progression, but the relation between orphanhood and socioeconomic outcomes in young adults has been largely ignored in the literature. In this paper, I use a longitudinal survey from the city of Cape Town, South Africa to evaluate two main outcomes of young adults, namely labor market attachment and fertility, and its relation to orphanhood status. The uniqueness of this dataset lies within the combination of different survey waves with a year-by-year life history that records key outcomes (e.g. schooling, work, fertility outcomes). It also provides information on so-called "parental investments" (time and material support),family background, and literacy and numeracy test scores. I find that although preexisting parental background characteristics and literacy and numeracy skills are comparable between orphans and non-orphans, the latter are less likely to be employed(true primarily for males) or to have children (females) early in their lives. Evidence ismixed regarding whether orphans earn lower wages than non-orphans. These results suggest that orphanhood may not only alter educational achievements, but that it may also leave a long-lasting "imprint" in terms of employment and fertility patterns.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Bozzoli, 2010. "A Lost Generation? Long Term Socioeconomic Outcomes in Orphans," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1069, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1069
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.362652.de/dp1069.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martha Ainsworth & Kathleen Beegle & Godlike Koda, 2005. "The Impact of Adult Mortality and Parental Deaths on Primary Schooling in North-Western Tanzania," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(3), pages 412-439.
    2. David Lam & Murray Leibbrandt & Cecil Mlatsheni, 2008. "Education and Youth Unemployment in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 22, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    3. Haddad, Lawrence J & Bouis, Howarth E, 1991. "The Impact of Nutritional Status on Agricultural Productivity: Wage Evidence from the Philippines," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(1), pages 45-68, February.
    4. David Evans & Edward Miguel, 2007. "Orphans and schooling in africa: a longitudinal analysis," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(1), pages 35-57, February.
    5. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi & Knight, John, 2004. "Unemployment in South Africa: The Nature of the Beast," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 391-408, March.
    6. Kathleen Beegle & Joachim De Weerdt & Stefan Dercon, 2006. "Orphanhood and the Long-Run Impact on Children," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1266-1272.
    7. Jason M. Fletcher & Barbara L. Wolfe, 2009. "Education and Labor Market Consequences of Teenage Childbearing: Evidence Using the Timing of Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Fixed Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
    8. L.Guarcello & S.Lyon & F.Rosati & C. Valdivia, 2004. "The influence of Orphanhood on Children’s Schooling and Labour: Evidence from Sub Saharan Africa," UCW Working Paper 13, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
    9. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Levina, Irina, 2013. "Problem of orphanhood in Russia: Analysis of cultural, economic and political aspects," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 29(1), pages 3-28.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Orphans; employment; wages; fertility; parental investments;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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