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The Impact of Hurricane Matthew on School Attendance: An Analysis from Rural Haiti

Amanda Cook and Donovan Beachy
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Donovan Beachy: Department of Economics, Bowling Green State University; Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA

IJERPH, 2018, vol. 16, issue 1, 1-5

Abstract: This study identifies the impact of Hurricane Matthew on school attendance in an agricultural community in rural Haiti. We conducted a survey of parents whose children attended a rural school prior to Hurricane Matthew to determine the mechanism by which hurricanes impact school attendance. We determined the marginal effect of family size and school enrollment using a probit model. Parents identified two primary causes for their children leaving school: a loss of income—through crop damage and livestock deaths—and requiring the children’s labor on the family farm. In our sample 96 children, 46% of the children enrolled in school, stopped attending because of the hurricane. No parent reported that their child(ren) left school because of illness or injury. Families with more children in school before the storm were 5% ( p < 0.001) more likely to have a child remain in school. Families with some children not attending school before the hurricane were 7.6% ( p < 0.001) more likely to leave school after the storm. The survey and probit model both suggest that an income constraint caused children to leave school. There is limited empirical evidence that students leave school to provide labor on family farms, and no evidence they leave school because of illness or injury.

Keywords: Natural disaster; human capital; education and economic development; education and inequality; school attendance; hurricane; probit (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I I1 I3 Q Q5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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