Sep 28, 2012

Who Should Go to School? (Ref. Burkina Faso)

Imagine that your resources are very limited, and you do not have enough money to send all your kids to school. How do you make a decision about who should go and who should not? A study done in Burkina Faso found that parents send the kid(s) who they see more promising in terms of future success. The study found that parent's perceptions of success coincided with measures of kids' cognitive abilities. [Why is this surprising?]. The result provides some evidence that relatively poor families in rural areas make "rational" decisions [yes, some economists discuss this issue, and not only for peasants but for human beings in general]. The paper is by Akresh et al, (Economic Development and Cultural Change, October 2012). A draft is here

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