Household Migration and Child Educational Attainment: The Case of Uganda

Type Working Paper
Title Household Migration and Child Educational Attainment: The Case of Uganda
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
In many Sub-Saharan African countries, a large number of people migrate internally or
abroad because of demographic, economic and political factors. This pronounced mobility is
likely to have consequences for child education, which is still a matter of concern in the
region. We study this issue for Uganda, investigating whether the migration of household
members affects child primary education and in what direction. Using the Uganda National
Panel Survey for 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011, we estimate conditional fixed effects logit
models of school attendance and primary school completion. We find that migration of
children has a significant positive impact on child school attendance rates while that of adults
has a significantly negative effect, and that remittances have no influence. These findings
suggest that migration of children is indeed beneficial, since it may contribute to matching the
demand and supply of schooling. The absence of adults, instead, has controversial effects
when children are left behind. In fact, lack of supervision and children working substituting
adults in their tasks might reduce the rate of school attendance. However, the migration of
neither children nor adults seem to increase the rate of primary school completion, evidence
that points to the problem of the low quality of primary education in developing countries.

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