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A Lost Generation? Long Term Socioeconomic Outcomes in Orphans

  • Carlos Bozzoli

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.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.362652.de/dp1069.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1069.

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Length: 67 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1069
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  1. Geeta Kingdon & John Knight, 2001. "Unemployment in South Africa: the nature of the beast," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2001-15, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. 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).
  3. Beegle Kathleen & Joachim De Weerdt & Stefan Dercon, 2007. "Orphanhood and the long-run impact on children," CSAE Working Paper Series 2007-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. David Evans & Edward Miguel, 2007. "Orphans and schooling in africa: a longitudinal analysis," Demography, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 35-57, February.
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