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The heterogeneous effects of a food price crisis on child school enrollment and labor : evidence from Pakistan

  • Hou, Xiaohui
  • Hong, Seo Yeon
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    Using a panel survey, this paper investigates how the increase in food prices in Pakistan in 2008-2010 affected children's school enrollment and labor. The causal identification relies on geographical variations in the price of food (wheat). The results show that the negative impacts of food price increase on school enrollment differ by gender, economic status, and the presence of siblings. The negative effects on school do not directly correspond to the increase in child labor because the transition from being idle to labor activity or from school to being idle are significant, particularly among the poor girls. The results also show that children in households with access to agricultural land are not affected by higher food prices. The analyses reveal a more dynamic picture of the impact of food price increase on child status and contribute to broader policy discussion to mitigate the impact of crises on children's education.

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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6566.

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    Date of creation: 01 Aug 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6566
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    1. Lorenzo Guarcello & Fabrizia Mealli & Furio Rosati, 2010. "Household vulnerability and child labor: the effect of shocks, credit rationing, and insurance," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 169-198, January.
    2. Pushkar Maitra & Ranjan Ray, 2000. "The Joint Estimation of Child Participation in Schooling and Employment: Comparative Evidence from Three Continents," ASARC Working Papers 2000-04, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    3. Swaminathan, Madhura, 1998. "Economic growth and the persistence of child labor: Evidence from an Indian city," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 1513-1528, August.
    4. Duryea, Suzanne & Lam, David & Levison, Deborah, 2007. "Effects of economic shocks on children's employment and schooling in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 188-214, September.
    5. Funkhouser, Edward, 1999. "Cyclical economic conditions and school attendance in Costa Rica," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 31-50, February.
    6. Bhalotra, Sonia & Heady, Christopher, 2001. "Child farm labour : the wealth paradox," Social Protection Discussion Papers 24088, The World Bank.
    7. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
    8. Eric V. Edmonds, 2003. "Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?," NBER Working Papers 10134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev H. & Gatti, Roberta, 2006. "Child labor and agricultural shocks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 80-96, October.
    10. Robert Jensen, 2000. "Agricultural Volatility and Investments in Children," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 399-404, May.
    11. Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2001. " Child Growth in the Time of Drought," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(4), pages 409-36, September.
    12. 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.
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