Mortality, Mobility and Schooling Outcomes among Orphans: Evidence from Malawi

Mika Ueyama, Hitotsubashi University and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

This study investigates the impacts of parental death on children’s survival risks and migration behaviors, as well as schooling outcomes, by using panel data from Malawi, which has the eighth-highest HIV infection rate in the world. A number of studies have analyzed the association between parental death and children’s school enrollment, but very few have considered mortality and mobility of orphans. Empirical results show that maternal orphans, as well as double orphans, tend to face higher survival risks and lower schooling outcomes than paternal and non-orphans. This is especially so for boys. Similarly, maternal and double orphans tend to move to other households more frequently. Compared to adolescent orphans, the impact on younger orphans is more muted, suggesting the possibility that free primary education policies may have mitigated shocks of parental death. These empirical results are robust to sample attrition due to mortality and mobility.

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Presented in Session 25: Child Wellbeing in Nontraditional Households