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Educational Achievement and Socio-economic Background: Causality and Mechanisms in Senegal

  • Education


This paper addresses the question of intergenerational schooling mobility in Senegal. We use an original survey conducted in 2003 that provides instruments to deal with the endogeneity of parent's education. In Senegal, school supply has been increasing a lot over the last decades, individuals who are now adults had different exposure to the schooling system, depending on where they lived when they were young and on their birth cohort. Hence, a first set of instruments describes the infrastructures available in the environment in which parents lived when they were 10 years old. Moreover, variation in education demand for a child is also driven by his/her position among his/her siblings, since older children tend to be less educated in West Africa. Being the first born is random but implies different educational outcomes than other birth ranks. Hence, the second set of instruments describes whether the parents were the first born among their same sex siblings. The estimated effect of father's education is more than double when its endogeneity is accounted for. Unexpectedly, mother's education comes out as a lesser determinant. We then focus on the understanding of the channels through which parental education affects children's schooling. We present the results pointing at the importance of the direct impact of parental education relative to the effect passing through wealth or household activity choices. Copyright 2011 The author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: [email protected], Oxford University Press.

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