The Impact of Compulsory School Laws in a Developing Country Context: Examining Impacts and Explanations in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Part of the Programme: Resources and Development

  • Project Leads: Tim Swanson, Martina Viarengo
  • Research Assistants: Roxana Manea, Radu Barza
  • Timeline: 2018 - 2022
  • Keywords: Compulsory schooling, Sub-Saharan Africa, fertility, child labour
  • Funding Organisation: SNF

 

Abstract:

The proposed research aims to assess the impact of compulsory schooling laws (CSLs) in a developing country context, with special reference to sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The project will focus on the impact of CSLs on household bargaining outcomes, with special reference to issues of fertility, child labor and the allocation of tasks within the household.

The first part of the research focuses on how CSLs impact upon the social welfare, especially in regard to the choices made by women.  The specific contexts are South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania, where we will be examining data related to how CSLs affect fertility choice, and investments into the education of children.

The second part of the research focuses on how CSLs impact upon decision making within the household, and especially the division of labour and the division of tasks between different members of the household, looking at how child labour and women's tasks are affected by CSL.  Here we will focus on the contexts of Tanzania, Uganda and other countries.

The project shapes an agenda for future research regarding the role of CSLs in engendering development and behavioural changes, within the context of severely constrained households in SSA.   We wish to further the understanding of the capacity of CSLs to have impacts for individuals and societies in this context, and we wish to further understanding of the institutional and development constraints that limit the effectiveness of such laws.