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Title:Child ability and household human capital investment decisions in Burkina Faso PDF Logo
Authors:Akresh, Richard
Bagby, Emilie
de Walque, Damien
Kazianga, Harounan
Issue Date:2010
Series/Report no.:Discussion paper series // Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 5326
Abstract:Using data we collected in rural Burkina Faso, we examine how children's cognitive abilities influence resource constrained households' decisions to invest in their education. We use a direct measure of child ability for all primary school-aged children, regardless of current school enrollment. We explicitly incorporate direct measures of the ability of each child's siblings (both absolute and relative measures) to show how sibling rivalry exerts an impact on the parent's decision of whether and how much to invest in their child's education. We find children with one standard deviation higher own ability are 16 percent more likely to be currently enrolled, while having a higher ability sibling lowers current enrollment by 16 percent and having two higher ability siblings lowers enrollment by 30 percent. Results are robust to addressing the potential reverse causality of schooling influencing child ability measures and using alternative cognitive tests to measure ability.
Subjects:education
sibling rivalry
child ability
household decisions
Africa
JEL:O15
J12
I21
J13
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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