Labour Economics


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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    Shocks and Household Welfare in Kenya
    (2021) Musyoka, Philip Kalutu
    The threat of adverse effects of shocks on the welfare of Kenyan households is still a challenge in socio-economic development in the country. Among the sources of vulnerability to shocks is the livelihoods’ reliance on agriculture, a sector that is highly prone to recurrent shocks. Vulnerability, especially among rural households is also due to physical isolation from the mainstream national economic activities. The shocks consequently lead to welfare reductions among households, indicating inadequacies in the existing risk management and coping strategies. In the absence of effective coping mechanisms, households cannot effectively smooth consumption, thus likely to experience fluctuations in consumption expenditures and food insecurity. Vulnerable households are also most likely to resort to ineffective coping mechanisms, such as selling of farmland – a recourse likely to reduce the existing resource base, weaken resilience, and increase vulnerability of falling into deeper poverty. In order to address adverse effects of shocks on household welfare, this study assessed; first, the effect of farm income shocks on rural household welfare; secondly, the circumstances and household characteristics that predispose households to engage in distress sales of farmland; thirdly, the dynamism in household vulnerability to shocks by examining the association between the physical infrastructure development in the country and vulnerability to shocks; and finally, the relationship between livelihood diversification and household vulnerability to climate shocks. The study uses household level data contained in the Kenya Integrated Household Budget Surveys collected by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in 2005/06 and 2015/16. Results show that consumption spending was lower for rural households that reported farm income shocks compared to those that were not affected, differences were noted when households were disaggregated along agro-ecological zones and non-monetary measures of welfare produced similar results as monetary welfare measures. On the shocks and household characteristics leading to distress sales of farmland, results revealed that age of the household head, loss of both income and assets due to shocks, persistence of shocks and idiosyncrasy of shocks increased the probability of distress sales. In addition, existence of land markets and the acreage of land holdings increased the likelihood of distress sales of farmland. The predisposition for distress sales of farmland reduced for households whose heads had at least tertiary level of education and access to public services such as tarmacked roads. The number of livestock owned reduced the likelihood of distress sales of farmland. On the association between infrastructure growth and vulnerability to shocks, the results revealed that between 2005/06 and 2015/16, there was a reduction in household vulnerability to the general shocks with the reduction being higher for urban households; rural households’ vulnerability to food shocks reduced more compared to urban households. Both rural and urban households increased the use of infrastructure-supported ex-post coping strategies such as savings and borrowing to respond to food-security shocks, with the adoption being higher by five percentage points among rural households. Finally, the study found that livelihood diversification had an inverse relationship with household vulnerability to climate shocks. Disaggregating the analysis along income classes and agro-ecological zones showed clearly that livelihood diversification has a role in mitigating the risk of climate shocks in rural Kenya. From the findings, policy suggestions are offered for enhancing the households’ resilience to shocks.
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    (University of Yaoundé II, 2021-01-22) NEMBOT, Adeline MBOUNKA
    The aim of this thesis is to investigate the effect of education on family formation and the ensuing effects on female employment in Cameroon, using individual and household records of the 2011 Cameroon Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). Specifically, the thesis seeks: to examine the influence of education on the timing of first marriage, to assess the effect of education on the timing of first birth, and to explore how transition into marriage and birth modulate the effect of education on female full-time employment in Cameroon. To achieve these objectives, we appeal to theoretical and empirical tools. Becker’s model of time allocation provides the theoretical underpinnings on how with respect to education, a woman chooses between forming a family, working or both. Empirically, use is made of the survival analysis, the two-stage residual inclusion (2SRI) approach, the Heckman two-step correction for selection bias, the simple and ordered Probit models, and the control function modeling strategy. Results reveal that education delays women’s age at first marriage. Education also induces women to postpone their age at first birth; and these delays increase monotonically with level of education. Yet, only wives with post-primary education postponed their age at first birth compared to their counterparts with no education. In addition, while delaying age at first marriage and age at first birth by a year encourages women to reduce their likelihood of participating in full-time employment, education induces women to increase their probability of participating in full-time work. Yet, transition into first marriage and first birth reduces the marginal efficiency of education on women’s full-time employment, except if they choose to postpone their age at first marriage and age at first birth by up to 11 and 12 years, respectively. These findings have public policy implications. For instance, besides public interventions that encourage the girl child to stay longer in school, policy interventions could equality create an enabling environment that reconciles work and family formation. Such interventions may include the popularization of daycare centers and universal paid maternity leave.
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    Essays on Child Labour and Schooling in Ghana
    (University of Cape Town, 2018-04-21) Ayifah, Rebecca Nana Yaa
    This thesis consists of three papers on child labour and schooling in Ghana. The first paper examines the correlates of child labour and schooling, as well as the trade-off between work and schooling of children aged 5-17 years with the 2013 Ghana Living Standard Survey data. A bivariate probit model is used since the decisions to participate in schooling and in the labour market are interdependent. The results show that there is a gender gap both in child work and schooling. In particular, boys are less likely to work (and more likely to be enrolled in schools) relative to girls. Whereas parent education, household wealth and income of the family are negatively correlated with child work, these factors influence schooling positively. In addition, parents’ employment status, ownership of livestock, distance to school, child wage and schooling expenditure increase the probability of child labour and reduce the likelihood of school enrolment. In terms of the relationship between child labour and schooling, the results show that an additional hour of child labour is associated with 0.15 hour (9 minutes) reduction in daily hours of school attendance; and the effect is bigger for girls relative to boys. Also, one more hour of child labour is associated with an increase in the probability of a child falling behind in grade progression by 1.4 percentage points. The second paper estimates the impact of Ghana’s Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) cash transfer programme on schooling outcomes (enrolment, attendance hours, repetition and test scores) and child labour in farming and non-farm enterprises. Using longitudinal data, the paper employs three different quasi-experimental methods (propensity score matching, difference-in-difference, and difference-in-difference combined with matching). Overall, the results show that the LEAP programme had no effect on school enrolment and test scores, but it increased the weekly hours of class attendance by 5.2 hours and reduced repetition rate by 11 percentage points for children in households that benefited from the programme. In addition, there was heterogeneity in these impacts, with boys benefiting more relative to girls. In terms of child labour, the results show that the programme had no effect on the extensive margin of child labour in farming and non-farm enterprises. However, the LEAP programme reduced the intensity of farm work done by children by as much as 2.6 hours per day. The largest impact of the programme, in terms of reduction in the intensity of child labour in farming, occurred in female-headed and extremely poor households. The last paper investigates the impact of mothers’ autonomy or bargaining power in the household on their children’s schooling and child labour in Ghana. The paper uses a noneconomic measure of women’s autonomy, which is an index constructed from five questions on power relations between men and women. The paper employs both an Ordinary Least Square (OLS) and an Instrumental Variable (IV) approach. Overall, the results suggest that ignoring the endogeneity of mothers’ autonomy underestimates its true impact on schooling and child labour. They also show that an increase in mothers’ autonomy increases school enrolment and hours of class attendance, with girls benefiting more than boys. The paper finds a negative relationship between mothers’ autonomy and both the extensive and intensive margin of child labour. In addition, it demonstrates that improvement in women’s autonomy has bigger impacts on rural children’s welfare relative to urban children.