UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Yasuharu Shimamura, Kobe University

The dynamics of educational attainment for orphaned children in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Malawi

Date and Location

Monday, February 2, 2015, 4:10 PM - 5:30 PM
ARE Conference Room, 2102 Social Sciences and Humanities


This paper explores the factors that shape the dynamics of educational attainment for orphans in sub-Saharan Africa. A theoretical model, with a presumption that orphans may experience an immediate negative impact (grade repetition) associated with a parental death, predicts that there are three phases of orphans’ educational progression; 1) orphans lag behind in their educational progression after a parental death, 2) yet continue to attend school at younger ages, 3) however, they are more likely to drop out of school at higher ages if they face discriminately circumstances. Empirical analysis examines this prediction by taking into account the timing of losing a parent or both, and shows that in Malawi the patterns of educational progression, particularly for female maternal orphans, follow the predicted pattern. This paper thus lays a foundation of theoretical frameworks to correctly evaluate the long-term impact of a parental death on children’s educational achievement in sub-Saharan Africa.

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