Envoi de fonds et allocation du temps des enfants au Niger : L'effet indirect des chocs négatifs
By reducing financial constraints and income variability, remittances can increase educational attainment and thereby reduce child labor supply, in the context of imperfect financial markets. This paper aims to analyze the impact of remittances on child labor and educational outcomes in Niger. More specifically, we investigate how recipient households in Niger decide to spend this extra income with regard to the decision on sending their children to school or to work. Our methodology differs from previous ones in important respects. First, we estimate whether there are significant differences according the negative shocks occurrence. Second, the endogeneity of migration decisions complicates the analysis as it requires the identification of two separate events that are often driven by similar factors. In order to delineate the effect of remittances from migration, we focus on children residing in non-migrant households. Third, we use a Propensity Score Matching method to calculate the average treatment effects of remittances on children labor force or schooling participation decisions. We use this approach to avoid the identification problem generated by a simple comparison of households that receive remittances and households that do not. This approach requires a rich database, which is provided by the Troisième enquête nationale sur le budget et la Consommation des ménages (Niger, 2007). Indeed, with a sample size close to 4 thousand households, this survey contains information on the size of remittances received, the nature of remittances, the country where the cash transfers come from and the frequency with respect to previous year. Our findings show the positive role of remittances on schooling in every scenario selected (with or without shocks experienced). The remittances' effects on children's participation in economic activities are however much more complex and depend if the household has recently experienced a negative shock. Thus, while one of the main advantages of remittances is to diversify income sources and protect families in downturns, the use of children to work as a coping strategy is still frequent in Niger. These two mechanisms (remittance and child work) appear to be complementary.
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