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Adjusting Household Structure: School Enrollment Impacts of Child Fostering in Burkina Faso

  • Richard Akresh

    ()

    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

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    Researchers claim that children growing up away from their biological parents may be at a disadvantage and have lower human capital investment. This paper measures the impact of child fostering on school enrollment and uses household and child fixed effects regressions to address the endogeneity of fostering. Data collection by the author involved tracking and interviewing the sending and receiving household participating in each fostering exchange, allowing a comparison of foster children with their non-fostered biological siblings. Foster children are equally likely as their host siblings to be enrolled after fostering and are 3.6 percent more likely to be enrolled than their biological siblings. Relative to children from non-fostering households, host siblings, biological siblings, and foster children all experience increased enrollment after the fostering exchange, indicating fostering may help insulate poor households from adverse shocks. This Pareto improvement in schooling translates into a long-run improvement in educational and occupational attainment.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp897.pdf
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    Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 897.

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    Length: 37 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:897
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    1. Evans, David & Miguel, Edward A., 2005. "Orphans and Schooling in Africa: A Longitudinal Analysis," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt14w3s2fh, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. Richard Akresh, 2005. "Risk, Network Quality, and Family Structure: Child Fostering Decisions in Burkina Faso," Working Papers 902, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    3. Marcel Fafchamps & Jackline Wahba, 2004. "Child Labor, Urban Proximity, and Household Composition," Economics Series Working Papers 213, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Yamano, Takashi & Jayne, Thom S., 2004. "Working-Age Adult Mortality and Primary School Attendance in Rural Kenya," Working Papers 202631, Egerton University, Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development.
    5. Ainsworth, Martha & Filmer, Deon, 2002. "Poverty, AIDS, and children's schooling - a targeting dilemma," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2885, The World Bank.
    6. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Mothers and Others: Who Invests in Children’s Health?," Working Papers 277, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    7. Anne Case & Christina Paxson & Joseph Ableidinger, 2002. "Orphans in Africa," NBER Working Papers 9213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Gertler, Paul & Levine, David I. & Ames, Minnie, 2003. "Schooling and Parental Death," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0dd4659h, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    9. Anne Case & Christina Paxson & Joseph Ableidinger, 2004. "Orphans in Africa: parental death, poverty, and school enrollment," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 483-508, August.
    10. Donna K. Ginther & Robert A. Pollak, 2000. "Does family structure affect children's educational outcomes?," Working Paper 2000-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    11. Castle, Sarah E., 1995. "Child fostering and children's nutritional outcomes in rural Mali: The role of female status in directing child transfers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 679-693, March.
    12. Case, Anne & Lin, I-Fen & McLanahan, Sara, 2000. "How Hungry Is the Selfish Gene?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 781-804, October.
    13. Thomas, Duncan & Beegle, Kathleen & Frankenberg, Elizabeth & Sikoki, Bondan & Strauss, John & Teruel, Graciela, 2004. "Education in a crisis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 53-85, June.
    14. repec:ucf:inndig:inndig99/17 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. David Bishai & Heena Brahmbhatt & Ron Gray & Godfrey Kigozi & David Serwadda & Nelson Sewankambo & El Daw Suliman & Fred Wabwire-Mangen & Maria Wawer, 2003. "Does biological relatedness affect child survival?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 8(9), pages 261-278, May.
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