Child ability and household human capital investment decisions in Burkina Faso

Richard Akresh, Emilie Bagby, Damien De Walque, Harounan Kazianga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parents' decisions about whether and how much to invest in their children's human capital depend on many factors, and these decisions have long-lasting impacts on each child's future earnings, marital prospects, and overall welfare. Such rivalry could explain the high level of variation in enrollment across siblings within a family that we observe in our data and in rural Burkina Faso in general. Third, the survey instrument asks parents to provide their perceptions about the likely chances of future economic success for each of their children, information that is not often gathered in surveys. Sibling rivalry represents the idea that within a household there is competition among siblings for limited resources. When market constraints bind, all else equal, a child who has fewer siblings who are comparatively higher valued will be better off. Traditionally, the sibling rivalry literature for developing countries has focused on sibling sex composition and measuring the number of sisters that a given child has.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-186
Number of pages30
JournalEconomic Development and Cultural Change
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


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