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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Demography
Title Orphanhood and human capital destruction: Is there persistence Into adulthood?
Author(s)
Volume 47
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Page numbers 163-180
URL http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/demography/v047/47.1.beegle.html
Abstract
This article presents unique evidence that orphanhood matters in the long run for health and education outcomes in a region of northwestern Tanzania. We study a sample of 718 non-orphaned children surveyed in 19911994 who were traced and reinterviewed as adults in 2004. A large proportion, 19percent, lost one or more parents before age 15 in this period, allowing us to assess permanent health and education impacts of orphanhood. In the analysis, we control for a wide range of child and adult characteristics before orphanhood, as well as community fixed effects. We find that maternal orphanhood has a permanent adverse impact of 2 cm of final height attainment and one year of educational attainment. Expressing welfare in terms of consumption expenditure, the result is a gap of 8.5percent compared with similar children whose mothers survived until at least their 15th birthday.

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