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Environmental Resource Collection versus Children’s Schooling: Evidence from Tigray, Northern Ethiopia


  • Bahre Gebru

    () (Department of Economics, College of Business and Economics, Aksum University, Aksum)

  • Sosina Bezu

    () (School of Economics, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa)


Previous studies in Ethiopia treat child labour and schooling in a broader sense without much attention to the kind of labor they are engaged in. This paper distinctively examines the adverse effect of natural resources scarcity on children’s schooling and the possible gender bias against girls’ schooling due to resource collection work. It uses a cross sectional data of 316 children aging 7 to 18 years collected from 120 rural households of Enderta and Hintalo Wajerat woredas in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. The two-stage conditional maximum likelihood (2SCML) estimation technique is employed to take care of endogeneity between schooling and collection intensity decisions. The results revealed that a 50 percent increase in collection intensity reduces the likelihood of child schooling by approximately 12 percent. Even though girls more often participateon resource gathering tasks, we find no evidence of gender based difference against girls’ schooling due to resource collection intensity. Timely collection of fodder resources from cultivated land—soon enough so amount and quality will not deteriorate, planting fodder-rich tree species, promoting labor sharing arrangements, and maintenance of the non-operating constructed water sources can reduce the time spent on environmental resources collection and improve the likelihood of schooling.

Suggested Citation

  • Bahre Gebru & Sosina Bezu, 2012. "Environmental Resource Collection versus Children’s Schooling: Evidence from Tigray, Northern Ethiopia," Working Papers 007, Ethiopian Development Research Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:etd:wpaper:007

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Benjamin Chiedozie Okpukpara & Ngozi Odurukwe, 2006. "Incidence and determinants of child labour in Nigeria: Implications for poverty alleviation," Research Papers RP_156, African Economic Research Consortium.
    4. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
    5. Rasmus Heltberg & Thomas Channing Arndt & Nagothu Udaya Sekhar, 2000. "Fuelwood Consumption and Forest Degradation: A Household Model for Domestic Energy Substitution in Rural India," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(2), pages 213-232.
    6. Guy Blaise Nkamleu, 2009. "Determinants of Child Labour and Schooling in the Native Cocoa Households of Côte d'Ivoire," Research Papers RP_190, African Economic Research Consortium.
    7. Sharada Weir, 2011. "Parental Attitudes and Demand for Schooling in Ethiopia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 20(1), pages 90-110, January.
    8. Wagura Ndiritu, Simon & Nyangena, Wilfred, 2010. "Environmental Goods Collection and Children’s Schooling: Evidence from Kenya," Discussion Papers dp-10-18-efd, Resources For the Future.
    9. George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
    10. Nankhuni, Flora J. & Findeis, Jill L., 2004. "Natural resource-collection work and children's schooling in Malawi," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 31(2-3), pages 123-134, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Birouke Tefera & Frehiwot Worku & Zewdu Ayalew, 2012. "Implications of Oil Price Shocks and Subsidizing Oil Prices to the Ethiopian Economy: A CGE Analysis," Working Papers 008, Ethiopian Development Research Institute.


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