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Do Parents Favor their Biological Offspring over Adopted Orphans? Theory and Evidence from Tanzania

Author

Listed:
  • Papa Seck

    () (Hunter College, Department of Economics)

Abstract

This paper looks at the consequences children face when they lose a parent(s). After modeling the representative household’s bargaining process between their biological and orphaned children, the empirical section of this paper looks at the types of activities that children engage in, and the differences in educational outlays of host households between those children who have lost their parents and those who have not. The results indicate that orphanhood is of critical importance to human capital formation as the probability of engaging in child labor and being idle increases relative to school attendance, following the loss of both parents. This has the same distortionary effect as a tax on children as a result of orphanhood. Even though these children do not have markedly lower abilities to read, write or perform written calculation before the death of their parents, they are outperformed in all three categories once they join the new household following the loss of both parents. It concludes that for policymakers, in-kind subsidies provided at the school level will have a bigger impact than those provided at the household level.

Suggested Citation

  • Papa Seck, 2005. "Do Parents Favor their Biological Offspring over Adopted Orphans? Theory and Evidence from Tanzania," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 409, Hunter College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:htr:hcecon:409
    as

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    File URL: http://econ.hunter.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/RePEc/papers/HunterEconWP409.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. Kathleen Beegle & Rajeev Dehejia & Roberta Gatti, 2003. "Child Labor, Crop Shocks, and Credit Constraints," NBER Working Papers 10088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Anne Case & Christina Paxson & Joseph Ableidinger, 2004. "Orphans in Africa: parental death, poverty, and school enrollment," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(3), pages 483-508, August.
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    5. David Evans & Edward Miguel, 2007. "Orphans and schooling in africa: a longitudinal analysis," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(1), pages 35-57, February.
    6. Priya Ranjan, 2004. "Why Children Work, Attend School, or Stay Idle: Theory and Evidence," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 362, Econometric Society.
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    8. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
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    12. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387, May.
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    14. Borsch-Supan, Axel & Pollakowski, Henry O., 1990. "Estimating housing consumption adjustments from panel data," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 131-150, March.
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    18. Partha Deb & Furio Rosati, 2002. "Determinants of Child Labor and School Attendance: The Role of Household Unobservables," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 02/9, Hunter College Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher Ksoll, 2007. "Family Networks and Orphan Caretaking in Tanzania," Economics Series Working Papers 361, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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