Orphans and schooling in africa: a longitudinal analysis

Abstract

AIDS deaths could have a major impact on economic development by affecting the human capital accumulation of the next generation. We estimate the impact of parent death on primary school participation using an unusual five-year panel data set of over 20,000 Kenyan children. There is a substantial decrease in school participation following a parent death and a smaller drop before the death (presumably due to pre-death morbidity). Estimated impacts are smaller in specifications without individual fixed effects, suggesting that estimates based on cross-sectional data are biased toward zero. Effects are largest for children whose mothers died and, in a novel finding, for those with low baseline academic performance.

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Correspondence to Edward Miguel.

Additional information

We are grateful for financial support from the World Bank, the Partnership for Child Development, the Harvard Center for International Development, the Harvard University Inequality Program, and the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center (R01 TW05612-02). We thank ICS Africa and the Kenya Ministry of Health Division of Vector Borne Diseases for their cooperation in all stages of the project, and we would especially like to acknowledge the contributions of Elizabeth Beasley, Laban Benaya, Pascaline Dupas, Simon Brooker, Alfred Luoba, Sylvie Moulin, Robert Namunyu, Polycarp Waswa, and the PSDP eld staff and data group, without whom the project would not have been possible. Harold Alderman, Josh Angrist, Gustavo Bobonis, Anne Case, Caroline Hoxby, Larry Katz, Michael Kremer, participants in seminars at Harvard, the World Bank, 2004 NBER Summer Institute, USC, Oxford, 2005 IUSSP seminar on “Interactions Between Poverty and HIV/AIDS,” and University of California, Berkeley, have provided valuable comments, as have the editors of this journal and two anonymous referees. Melissa Gonzalez-Brenes and Tina Green have provided excellent research assistance. This is a substantially revised version of BREAD Working Paper No. 56 (see Evans and Miguel 2004). All errors are our own.

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Evans, D.K., Miguel, E. Orphans and schooling in africa: a longitudinal analysis. Demography 44, 35–57 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1353/dem.2007.0002

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Keywords

  • Maternal Death
  • Speci Cation
  • School Participation
  • Orphan Status
  • Father Death