Working-age Adult Mortality and Primary Sschool Attendance in Rural Kenya
The rapid increase in adult mortality due to the AIDS epidemic in sub- Saharan Africa raises great concern about its impact on child welfare. This article estimates the impact of AIDS-related adult mortality on primary school attendance in rural Kenya using a panel of 1,266 households surveyed in 1997, 2000, and 2002. We find a strong correlation between working-age adult mortality and lagged HIV- prevalence rates at nearby sentinel survey sites. School attendance, especially for children in relatively poor households, is negatively correlated with lagged provincial HIV-prevalence rates. Children, especially girls in relatively poor households, are less likely to be in school directly prior to the death of an adult member than children in unafflicted households. By contrast, boys in relatively poor households are less likely to be in school after an adult death. The evidence indicates that rising adult mortality in rural Kenya is adversely affecting primary school attendance especially among the poor. However, these results measure only short-term impacts. Over the longer run, whether school attendance in afflicted household rebounds or deteriorates further is unknown.
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