The effect of availability and distance to school on children's time allocation in Ghana and Guatemala
In this paper we present evidence on the impact of distance to school and school availability on households’ decisions concerning primary age children’s time allocation between work, schooling and household chores activities using data from the Ghana Living Standard Survey 1998-99 (GLSS) and the Guatemalan Living Standards Measurement Survey 2000 (ENCOVI). Overall, our results indicate that the increased and eased access to school has a well-defined impact on children’s time use, with both similarities and striking dissimilarities between the chosen countries. In particular, in Ghana the availability and the travel distance to schools (both primary and middle) in the community influence children’s work in both economic activities and household chores and children’s school attendance. The longer the travel time to school the more difficult it is for children to reconcile work and school attendance. In Guatemala, secondary school access constraints have almost no effect on children’s time allocation. In addition, reducing the cost of access to primary education has an effect only on children’s school attendance but it reduces neither child work nor time spent in household chores. Our results are robust to control for the endogeneity of school location and per capita expenditures.
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