The impact of parental death on school enrolment and achievement: Longitudinal evidence from South Africa

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Show simple item record Case, Anne Ardington, Cally 2013-10-10T19:06:54Z 2013-10-10T19:06:54Z 2004-12
dc.identifier.isbn 1-77011-026-7
dc.description.abstract We analyse 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 enrolment. 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. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Analysis is based on data collected through the Africa Centre Demographic Information System. Authors are affiliated with the Population Studies Group of the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies. We have benefited from the ACDIS field and data centre staff under the leadership of the principal investigator, Dr. Kobus Herbst. We thank Angus Deaton and Frances Lund for comments on an earlier draft. Case gratefully acknowledges funding from the MacArthur Foundation (“Research Network on Poverty and Inequality in Broader Perspective”) and the National Institute of Aging R01 AG20275-01. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher CSSR and SALDRU
dc.relation.ispartofseries CSSR/SALDRU Working Paper;97
dc.subject HIV/AIDS en_US
dc.subject Fathers en_US
dc.subject Parental Death en_US
dc.subject Schooling en_US
dc.subject Mothers en_US
dc.subject Longitudinal data
dc.subject KwaZulu-Natal
dc.subject Children
dc.subject Education
dc.subject Poverty
dc.subject Orphans
dc.title The impact of parental death on school enrolment and achievement: Longitudinal evidence from South Africa en_US
dc.type Working Paper en_US

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