Orphans and schooling in Africa: a longitudinal analysis

Demography. 2007 Feb;44(1):35-57. doi: 10.1353/dem.2007.0002.


AIDS deaths could have a major impact on economic development by affecting the human capital accumulation of the next generation. We estimate the impact of parent death on primary school participation using an unusual five-year panel data set of over 20,000 Kenyan children. There is a substantial decrease in school participation following a parent death and a smaller drop before the death (presumably due to pre-death morbidity). Estimated impacts are smaller in specifications without individual fixed effects, suggesting that estimates based on cross-sectional data are biased toward zero. Effects are largest for children whose mothers died and, in a novel finding, for those with low baseline academic performance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / economics
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / mortality*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Measurement
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Foster Home Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Kenya
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parents*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Schools / statistics & numerical data
  • Schools / trends*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors