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Adjusting Household Structure: School Enrollment Impacts of Child Fostering in Burkina Faso

  • Akresh, Richard

    ()

    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Researchers claim that children growing up away from their biological parents may be at a disadvantage and have lower human capital investment. This paper measures the impact of child fostering on school enrollment and uses household and child fixed effects regressions to address the endogeneity of fostering. Data collection by the author involved tracking and interviewing the sending and receiving household participating in each fostering exchange, allowing a comparison of foster children with their non-fostered biological siblings. Foster children are equally likely as their host siblings to be enrolled after fostering and are 3.6 percent more likely to be enrolled than their biological siblings. Relative to children from nonfostering households, host siblings, biological siblings, and foster children all experience increased enrollment after the fostering exchange, indicating fostering may help insulate poor households from adverse shocks. This Pareto improvement in schooling translates into a long-run improvement in educational and occupational attainment.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1379.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1379
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  1. Ainsworth, Martha & Filmer, Deon, 2002. "Poverty, AIDS, and children's schooling - a targeting dilemma," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2885, The World Bank.
  2. Richard Akresh, 2005. "Risk, Network Quality, and Family Structure: Child Fostering Decisions in Burkina Faso," Working Papers 902, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  3. Yamano, Takashi & Jayne, Thomas S., 2004. "Working-age Adult Mortality and Primary School Attendance in Rural Kenya," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 54645, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  4. Anne Case & Christina Paxson & Joseph Ableidinger, 2004. "Orphans in Africa: parental death, poverty, and school enrollment," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 483-508, August.
  5. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Mothers and Others: Who Invests in Children's Health?," NBER Working Papers 7691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Anne Case & Christina Paxson & Joseph Ableidinger, 2002. "Orphans in Africa," NBER Working Papers 9213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gertler, Paul & Levine, David I. & Ames, Minnie, 2003. "Schooling and Parental Death," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0dd4659h, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Evans, David & Miguel, Edward A., 2005. "Orphans and Schooling in Africa: A Longitudinal Analysis," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt14w3s2fh, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  9. Marcel Fafchamps & Jackline Wahba, 2004. "Child Labor, Urban Proximity, and Household Composition," Economics Series Working Papers 213, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. David Bishai & Heena Brahmbhatt & Ron Gray & Godfrey Kigozi & David Serwadda & Nelson Sewankambo & El Daw Suliman & Fred Wabwire-Mangen & Maria Wawer, 2003. "Does biological relatedness affect child survival?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 8(9), pages 261-278, May.
  11. Case, Anne & Lin, I-Fen & McLanahan, Sara, 2000. "How Hungry Is the Selfish Gene?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 781-804, October.
  12. repec:ucf:inndig:inndig99/17 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Thomas, Duncan & Beegle, Kathleen & Frankenberg, Elizabeth & Sikoki, Bondan & Strauss, John & Teruel, Graciela, 2004. "Education in a crisis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 53-85, June.
  14. Donna K. Ginther & Robert A. Pollak, 2000. "Does family structure affect children's educational outcomes?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2000-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  15. Castle, Sarah E., 1995. "Child fostering and children's nutritional outcomes in rural Mali: The role of female status in directing child transfers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 679-693, March.
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