The impact of parental death on school enrollment and achievement: Longitudinal evidence from South Africa
Anne Case () and
No 240, Working Papers from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing.
We analyze longitudinal data from a demographic surveillance area (DSA) in KwaZulu-Natal, to examine the impact of parental death on children's outcomes. We find significant differences in the impact of mothers' and fathers' deaths. The loss of a child's mother is a strong predictor of poor schooling outcomes. Maternal orphans are significantly less likely to be enrolled in school, and have completed significantly fewer years of schooling, conditional on age, than children whose mothers are alive. Less money is spent on their educations on average, conditional on enrollment. Moreover, children whose mothers have died appear to be at an educational disadvantage when compared to non-orphaned children with whom they live. We use the timing of mothers' deaths relative to children's educational shortfalls to argue that mothers' deaths have a causal effect on children's educations. The loss of a child's father is a significant predictor of household socioeconomic status. Children whose fathers have died live in significantly poorer households, measured on a number of dimensions. However, households in which fathers died were poor prior to fathers' deaths. The death of a father between waves of the survey has no significant effect on subsequent household economic status. While the loss of a father is correlated with poorer educational outcomes, this correlation arises because a father's death is a marker that the household is poor. Evidence from the South African 2001 Census suggests that the estimated effects of maternal deaths on children's school attendance and attainment in the Africa Centre DSA reflect the reality for orphans throughout South Africa.
Keywords: Demographic surveillance area; education; orphans (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I00 I21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Working Paper: The impact of parental death on school enrollment and achievement: Longitudinal evidence from South Africa (2005)
Working Paper: The impact of parental death on school enrollment and achievement: Longitudinal evidence from South Africa (2004)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pri:cheawb:43
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Working Papers from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Bobray Bordelon ().