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Are Foster Children Made Better Off by Informal Fostering Arrangements?

Author

Listed:
  • Legrand Yémélé Kana
  • Sylvain Dessy
  • Jacques Ewoudou

Abstract

Research on the effects of informal child fostering arrangements on the welfare of the children involved highlights cross-country disparities. Why may there be differences across countries with regard to the effects of informal child fostering arrangements? If in all countries reporting a high incidence of foster children Hamilton’s rule applies, then these cross-country differences are puzzling. Our model of child fostering arrangements builds on the fact that a child’s school performance is jointly influenced by his nutrition status and the time he has available at home to develop his learning skills and prepare for national school tests. Given this feature of academic performance, fostering out may become a poor parent’s best option for enhancing his child’s academic excellence, by trading off study time for better nutrition. We show that child fostering arrangements embedding this human capital motive for out-fostering make the foster child better off when nutrition is paramount to a child’s ability to achieve academic excellence.

Suggested Citation

  • Legrand Yémélé Kana & Sylvain Dessy & Jacques Ewoudou, 2010. "Are Foster Children Made Better Off by Informal Fostering Arrangements?," Cahiers de recherche 1009, CIRPEE.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard Akresh, 2009. "Flexibility of Household Structure: Child Fostering Decisions in Burkina Faso," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
    2. Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1990. "Estimating the Intrahousehold Incidence of Illness: Child Health and Gender-Inequality in the Allocation of Time," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(4), pages 969-980, November.
    3. Fafchamps, Marcel & Wahba, Jackline, 2006. "Child labor, urban proximity, and household composition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 374-397, April.
    4. Harold Alderman & Jere Behrman & Victory Lavy & Rekha Menon, "undated". "Child Nutrition, Child Health, and School Enrollment: A Longitudinal Analysis," CARESS Working Papres 97-21, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
    5. Serra, Renata, 2009. "Child fostering in Africa: When labor and schooling motives may coexist," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 157-170, January.
    6. 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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child fostering; child nutrition; foster child's welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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