Staying in School: Assessing the Role of Access, Availability and Opportunity Cost

Angela Baschieri, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Jane C. Falkingham, University of Southampton

This paper investigates the role of contextual factors outside the household in determining whether or not a child attends basic education in Tajikistan. By combining data from the Tajikistan Living Standard Survey with data from a parallel community survey, aggregated census data at the jamoat (village) level, and spatial data, a series of variables are constructed which characterize the environment where the child lives. These variables serve as proxies for the accessibility and availability of school services, quality of education, opportunity cost of education in terms of the opportunities for income generating activities forgone, and level of economic development in the communities. Applying multilevel modelling techniques, the results show that contextual factors have a strong effect on school attendance. Accessibility of service and higher quality of school have a positive effect, however a high opportunity cost to education in a community exerts a negative effect on school attendance.

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Presented in Session 154: Child Labor and School Outcomes