Abstract

We analyze longitudinal data from a demographic surveillance area (DSA) in KwaZulu-Natal to examine the impact of parental death on children’s outcomes. The results show significant differences in the impact of mothers’ and fathers’ deaths. The loss of a child’s mother is a strong predictor of poor schooling outcomes. Maternal orphans are significantly less likely to be enrolled in school and have completed significantly fewer years of schooling, conditional on age, than children whose mothers are alive. Less money is spent on maternal orphans’ educations, on average, conditional on enrollment. Moreover, children whose mothers have died appear to be at an educational disadvantage when compared with non-orphaned children with whom they live. We use the timing of mothers’ deaths relative to children’s educational shortfalls to argue that mothers’ deaths have a causal effect on children’s educations. The loss of a child’s father is a significant correlate of poor household socioeconomic status. However, the death of a father between waves of the survey has no significant effect on subsequent asset ownership. Evidence from the South African 2001 Census suggests that the estimated effects of maternal deaths on children’s outcomes in the Africa Centre DSA reflect the reality for orphans throughout South Africa.

This content is only available as a PDF.

References

Ainsworth, M., Beegle, K., & Koda, G. (
2005
).
The Impact of Adult Mortality and Parental Deaths on Primary Schooling in Northwestern Tanzania
.
Journal of Development Studies
,
41
,
412
39
. 10.1080/0022038042000313318
Bicego, G., Rutstein, S., & Johnson, K. (
2003
).
Dimensions of the Emerging Orphan Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa
.
Social Science and Medicine
,
56
,
1235
47
. 10.1016/S0277-9536(02)00125-9
Case, A. and C. Ardington. 2004. “Socioeconomic Factors.” Chap. 8 in Demographic and Health Events, Monograph Series, Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies.
Case, A., & Deaton, A. (
1999
).
School Inputs and Educational Outcomes in South Africa
.
Quarterly Journal of Economics
,
114
,
1047
84
. 10.1162/003355399556124
Case, A., Paxson, C., & Ableidinger, J. (
2004
).
Orphans in Africa: Parental Death, Poverty, and School Enrollment
.
Demography
,
41
,
483
508
. 10.1353/dem.2004.0019
Duflo, E. (
2003
).
Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old-Age Pensions and Intrahousehold Allocation in South Africa
.
World Bank Economic Review
,
17
,
1
25
. 10.1093/wber/lhg013
Evans, D. and E. Miguel. 2004. “Orphans and Schooling in Africa: A Longitudinal Analysis.” Unpublished manuscript. Harvard University.
Gertler, P., S. Martinez, D. Levine, and S. Bertozzi. 2003. “Losing the Presence and Presents of Parents: How Parental Death and Disability Affects Children.” Unpublished manuscript. Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley.
Giese, S., H. Meintjes, R. Croke, and R. Chamberlain. 2003. “Health and Social Services to Address the Needs of Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in the Context of HIV/AIDS, Research Report and Recommendations.” Children’s Institute of the University of Cape Town.
Hosegood, V., & Timæus, I.M. (
2005
).
Household Composition and Dynamics in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa: Mirroring Social Reality in Longitudinal Data Collection
. In E. Van de Walle (Ed.),
African Households: Censuses and Surveys
(pp.
58
77
).
Armonk, NY
:
M.E. Sharpe
.
Meintjes, H., D. Budlender, S. Giese, and L. Johnson. 2003. “Children in ‘Need of Care’ or in Need of Cash? Questioning Social Security Provisions for Orphans in the Context of the South African AIDS Pandemic.” A Joint Working Paper of the Children’s Institute and the Centre for Actuarial Research, University of Cape Town.
Subbarao, K., & Coury, D. (
2004
).
Reaching Out to Africa’s Orphans, A Framework for Public Action
.
Washington DC
:
World Bank
.
UNAIDS. 2002. “Report on the Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic.” Available on-line at www.unaids. org/barcelona/presskit/report.html
UNAIDS/UNICEF/USAID. 2004. “Children on the Brink 2004, A Joint Report of New Orphan Estimates and a Framework for Action.” Available on-line at www.unaids.org
Education and HIV/AIDS, A Window of Hope
. (
2002
).
Washington DC
:
World Bank
.
Yamano, T., & Jayne, T.S. (
2004
).
Measuring the Impact of Working-Age Adult Mortality on Small-Scale Farm Households in Kenya
.
World Development
,
32
(
1
),
91
119
. 10.1016/j.worlddev.2003.07.004