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The Role of Education and Family Background in Marriage, Childbearing, and Labor Market Participation in Senegal

  • 2012
  • Working Paper
Marchetta, Francesca & Sahn, David

Publisher/Institution: Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program

Abstract: This paper examines the role of education and family background on age at marriage, age at first birth, and age at labor market entry for young women in Senegal using a rich individual-level survey conducted in 2003. We use a multiple-equation framework that allows us to account for the endogeneity that arises from the simultaneity of the decisions that we model. Differences in the characteristics of the dependent variable informed the choice of the models that are used to estimate each equation: an ordered probit model is used to analyze the number of completed years of schooling, and a generalized hazard model for the other three decisions. Results show the importance of parental education, especially the father, on years of schooling. We find that each additional year of schooling of a woman with average characteristics delays marriage and the age at first birth by 0.5 and 0.4 years, respectively. Parents’ education also reduces the hazard of marriage and age of first birth, while the death of parents has just the opposite effect, with the magnitudes of effects being larger for mothers. Delaying marriage also leads to an increase in the hazard of entering the formal labor market, as does the education and death of the women’s parents.


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