Barriers To Children'S Cognitive Achievements: Evidence From Senegal
Schnitzer Raab, Pascale
Children's poor learning represents a major constraint to escape from poverty and develop a productive work force in much of the developing world. In this thesis, I focus on one particular barrier to children's learning that has yet not been well explored in the literature: the impact of father's unemployment on children's cognitive achievements. This analysis has significant implications for policy makers. If short term shocks reduce children's human capital, these may have long term effects on children and may be a cause of persistent poverty across generations. Using household panel data from Senegal, I analyze the relationship between father's unemployment and children's human capital (measured by cognitive tests). Results show that having a father unemployed is correlated with a significant reduction of children's cognitive achievement. This suggest that policies that aim at improving life chances of poor children and raising levels of human capital should, in addition to the commonly used methods to target this issue (e.g. investments in schools), also adopt mechanisms to help households coping with risk, such as the provision of unemployment insurance or other social protection programs could improve children's outcomes.
M.S., Agricultural Economics
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis