Parental Health, Child Labor and Schooling Outcomes

Shamma Alam, University of Washington, Seattle

This study examines the influence of parents’ health on children’s labor and schooling outcomes. Employing longitudinal data from Tanzania, this study finds that sickness of parents lead to increased hours of child labor. Parents’ sickness also causes previously unemployed children to be forced into child labor. This increased child labor then leads to fewer school enrollment. I find that the effect on child labor and school enrollment is especially higher when single-mothers are sick. Furthermore, fathers’ illness lead to greater child labor in farm work, while sickness of mothers or both the parents lead to greater child labor related to housework. There is also a gender-gap in labor as the increase in housework is mainly true for girls rather than boys. However, there is no gender gap in the increased hours spent at the farm. Also, older children are likely to work more in the farm. The paper concludes with policy implications.

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Presented in Poster Session 3