Household Structure and Child Education in Cambodia

Patrick Heuveline, Savet Hong


We analyze the effects of household structure on education in Cambodia. Consistent evidence documents that residence with both biological parents benefits children’s education in Western countries. Elsewhere, the issue is gaining more attention with the growing number of “left-behind children” due to adult migration and, possibly, changes in family behavior. The extant record is both thinner and more contrasted, however. Controlling for the presence of grandparents and some household characteristics, we find children residing with both biological parents are more likely to be enrolled in school, in the appropriate grade for their age, and literate than those living with only one parent. The effect sizes appear comparable to those in most Western countries, but the effects shrink or even disappear when grandparents are present. The results for children not residing with either parent are mixed, possibly resulting from negative effects for some children and positive selection for some others. 


education;family demography; global/international; household structure; single parents

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