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Demography

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 163–180 | Cite as

Orphanhood and human capital destruction: Is there persistence into adulthood?

  • Kathleen Beegle
  • Joachim De Weerdt
  • Stefan Dercon
Article

Abstract

This article presents unique evidence that orphanhood matters in the long run for health and education outcomes in a region of northwestern Tanzania. We study a sample of 718 non-orphaned children surveyed in 1991–1994 who were traced and reinterviewed as adults in 2004. A large proportion, 19%, lost one or more parents before age 15 in this period, allowing us to assess permanent health and education impacts of orphanhood. In the analysis, we control for a wide range of child and adult characteristics before orphanhood, as well as community fixed effects. We find that maternal orphanhood has a permanent adverse impact of 2 cm of final height attainment and one year of educational attainment. Expressing welfare in terms of consumption expenditure, the result is a gap of 8.5% compared with similar children whose mothers survived until at least their 15th birthday.

Keywords

Ordinary Little Square Maternal Death Consumption Expenditure Average Treatment Effect Education Outcome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen Beegle
    • 1
  • Joachim De Weerdt
    • 2
  • Stefan Dercon
    • 3
  1. 1.World BankWashington DC
  2. 2.Economic Development InitiativesTanzania
  3. 3.Department of International DevelopmentOxford UniversityUK

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