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Fertility shock and schooling

  • Economics
  • Education


This paper uses Demographic and Health Surveys data from about 30 sub-Saharan African countries to investigate the link between the birth of an ?unintended child? and schooling decisions of children (dropout and entry). After controlling for local unobserved heterogeneity, we show that, the birth of an ?unintended child? hinders child schooling. It reduces the probability of current school enrolment. As for school dynamics, it increases the probability that a child aged 6 to 18 years drops out of school and it decreases the probability that a child aged 6 to 9 years starts schooling. This result suggests that, the unexpected birth of a child strengthens household?s resources constraints and reduces human capital investments. The results also highlight the importance of the timing of the unexpected birth and the heterogeneity of the effect according to child characteristics.

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