BREAD Working Paper No. 021, February 2003
Orphans in Africa
Anne Case, Christina Paxson, Joseph Ableidinger
We examine the impact of orphanage on the living arrangements and school enrollment of children in Sub-Saharan Africa, using data from 19 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted in 10 countries between 1992 and 2000. We find that orphans in Africa on average live in poorer households than non-orphans, and are significantly less likely than non-orphans to be enrolled in school. However, orphans' lower school enrollment is not explained by their poverty: orphans are equally less likely to be enrolled in school relative both to non-orphans as a group and to the non-orphans with whom they live. Consistent with the predictions of Hamilton's Rule, we find that outcomes for orphans depend largely on the degree of relatedness of the orphan to the household head. Children living in households headed by non-parental relatives fare systematically worse than those living with parental heads, and those living in households headed by non-relatives fare worse still. Much of the gap between the schooling of orphans and non-orphans is explained by the greater tendency of orphans to live with more distant relatives or unrelated caregivers.
Keywords: Orphans, Education, Poverty
JEL classification codes: I1, D1
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