Risk and Schooling Decisions in Rural Madagascar: A Panel Data-Analysis

Posted: 30 Jun 2008

See all articles by Flore Gubert

Flore Gubert

Université Paris Dauphine; Université Paris Dauphine - PSL Research University; Université Paris Dauphine - UMR DIAL

Anne-Sophie Robilliard

DIAL - IRD - Chargee de Recherche

Date Written: March 2008

Abstract

Most households in rural Madagascar are engaged in agriculture and derive a large share of their income from the production of food or cash crops and from animal husbandry. However, agricultural yields can be extremely volatile due to weather conditions, pests, insects, rodents and other calamities. As a result, households record large fluctuations in their incomes that must be dealt with. Since the usual consumption-smoothing market mechanisms are quite limited in the Malagasy context, households need to rely on non-market mechanisms or to adopt multi-faceted strategies to cope with risk. In this paper, we examine the possibility that parents obtain informal income insurance by letting their children work. We test this hypothesis by examining the relationship between household income shocks and human capital investment in children. In particular, we investigate whether children's propensity to join school and to drop out of school responds to transient shocks. We also investigate issues such as gender and intrahousehold resource allocation.

JEL Classification: D91, I21, J24, O55

Suggested Citation

Gubert, Flore and Robilliard, Anne-Sophie, Risk and Schooling Decisions in Rural Madagascar: A Panel Data-Analysis (March 2008). Journal of African Economies, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 207-238, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1153288 or http://dx.doi.org/ejm010

Flore Gubert

Université Paris Dauphine ( email )

Place du Maréchal de Tassigny
Paris, Cedex 16 75775
France

Université Paris Dauphine - PSL Research University ( email )

Place du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny
Paris cedex 16, 75775
France

Université Paris Dauphine - UMR DIAL ( email )

Paris
France

Anne-Sophie Robilliard (Contact Author)

DIAL - IRD - Chargee de Recherche ( email )

4 rue d'Enghien
Paris 75010, 90009
France

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