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The effect of the number of siblings on education in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence from a natural experiment

  • KUEPIE Mathias
  • TENIKUE Michel

The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of the number of siblings on education in urban sub-Saharan Africa. The birth of twins is considered as a natural experiment that affects the number of siblings but has no direct effect on education. This event is used as instrumental variable in a two-stage least-squared estimation approach to investigate the causal effect of the number of siblings on school achievement. Equations are estimated on subsamples of singleton children born before the twins. The results show that an exogenous fertility increase significantly inhibits human capital accumulation. However, the magnitude of the marginal effect seems small: one additional sibling decreases the total number of school grade by nearly one-tenth. In a context of high fertility, the total effect might become very detrimental.

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Paper provided by LISER in its series LISER Working Paper Series with number 2012-28.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2012-28
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  1. Jean-Paul Azam & Flore Gubert, 2005. "Those in Kayes. The Impact of Remittances on Their Recipients in Africa," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 56(6), pages 1331-1358.
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  7. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2010. "Multiple Experiments for the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 773-824, October.
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  9. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 2005. "The Effect of Overcrowded Housing on Childrens Performance at School," Post-Print halshs-00754080, HAL.
  10. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
  11. Chernichovsky, Dov, 1985. "Socioeconomic and Demographic Aspects of School Enrollment and Attendance in Rural Botswana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 319-32, January.
  12. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  13. Michel Tenikue & Bertrand Verheyden, 2010. "Birth Order and Schooling: Theory and Evidence from Twelve Sub-Saharan Countries," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 19(4), pages 459-495, August.
  14. Joshua D. Angrist & William N. Evans, 1996. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," NBER Working Papers 5778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Eric Edmonds, 2006. "Understanding sibling differences in child labor," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 795-821, October.
  16. Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue & Lindy Williams, 2006. "Family size and schooling in sub-Saharan African settings: A reexamination," Demography, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 25-52, February.
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