Studies, Reviews and Research

Are Work and Schooling Complementary or Competitive for Children in Rural Ethiopia? A Mixed-methods Study. Working Paper No. 77

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ODID, Oxford Department of International Development,Young Lives

Participation in work and school are often assumed to be mutually exclusive. Thus, economists commonly present children’s work and study patterns as a competition over time. In this paper, it is not the time involved, but the characteristics of the activity that appear to influence complementary or competitive relationship between work and school.
This mixed methods study combines qualitative data from Leki, a field site in a rural area near lake Ziway in the Oromia region, Ethiopia, and approximately 625 children surveyed with caregivers in Ethiopia during 2002-03 and again in 2006-07. The results provide a number of insights into the characteristics of work and school activities that have implications for how children balance each.

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