Determinants of Child Schooling Work and Idleness: The Case of the Punjab Province

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This paper analyses the determinants of child activity with regard to schooling, working or neither schooling nor working in the age cohort 5-14 years. Primary data of the Punjab Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) conducted in 2010-11 has been used for this study. The objective of the study is to assess the relative influence of poverty, gender equity in educational attainment, parental education and mother’s autonomy within the household in the decision regarding child activity. Besides presenting a descriptive relationship between child activities and these determinants, multinomial logit is also estimated in the framework of joint probability distributions. In particular, household multidimensional poverty and gender equity in educational attainment have been estimated for this research. The study finds the positive (negative) and significantly large impact of poverty on the decision regarding child idleness (schooling). In contrast, coefficients associated with educational gender equity, parental education and mother’s empowerment have statistically significant inverse (direct) relationship with the household decision of child idleness (schooling). In terms of relative importance as measured by the marginal impact of these variables on the decision not to send children to school or work, multidimensional household poverty outclasses other determinants.