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2015-10-13 | Research Brief

Natural resource collection contributes to child illiteracy in Ethiopia

Damte Beyene, Abebe, Alemu Mekonnen and Zenebe Gebreegziabher. 2015. “Natural resource collection contributes to child illiteracy in Ethiopia” EfD Research Brief DRB 14-18,
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This study looks into the effect of resource collection (fuelwood collection and fetching water) on child education using data collected from rural Ethiopia. We find that, in general, natural resource scarcity contributes to child illiteracy by increasing the work burden on children in rural Ethiopia. In particular, children’s participation in fetching water is found to be one of the most important factors reducing children’s ability to read and write. There is greater child literacy when household heads have more education and when the family lives near a school. We also find that number of dependents, the presence of children under five in the household (both male and female) and child characteristics such as being a male child reduce the probability of child literacy. On the other hand, presence of children ages 6 to 10 and 15 to 17 in the household and the number of dependents in the household contribute to decreased child literacy.