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Educating Children : a Look at Household Behaviour in Côte d’Ivoire


  • Philippe De Vreyer

    () (EPEE, University of Evry Val-d'Essonne)

  • Sylvie Lambert

    () (INRA)

  • Thierry Magnac

    () (CREST and INTRA-LEA, Ecole Normale Supérieure)


We consider a dynamic model of investment in human capital where one decision maker (the head of the household) builds up human capital stocks of his/her children. In a stochastic framework, tradeoffs between investments in (physical) assets and investments in human capital achieved by different children within the family are modelled as resulting from risk diversification and differing opportunity costs of investments. We show how to specify the structural model as a system of simultaneous discrete choice equations so that it is estimable using panel or cross section data on children' school attendance. We estimate structural parameters using data from the cote d'Ivoire in 1985/ 1986 using standard and simulated maximum likelihood techniques. Results indicate that returns to learning by doing are much larger than returns to school at least at young ages, that the estimated intertemporal substitution elasticity is quite large and that the elasticity of substitution between financial and human capital assets is negative.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe De Vreyer & Sylvie Lambert & Thierry Magnac, 1999. "Educating Children : a Look at Household Behaviour in Côte d’Ivoire," Documents de recherche 99-13, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.
  • Handle: RePEc:eve:wpaper:99-13

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    Intertemporal choices; human capital formation; discrete simultaneous equations; simulated ML; economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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