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Abstract

In this paper, we empirically test the effect that food aid had on children's educational attainment and work decisions following the 2002 drought. Difference-in-differences and inverse-propensity score weighting regression results suggest that participation in Ethiopia's food-for-work program following the 2002 drought decreased the number of years of schooling for younger children and increased the likelihood that older children were not enrolled in school because of work responsibilities. Participation in Ethiopia's free distribution program following the 2002 drought increased the number of years of schooling for younger boys. This paper contributes to our understanding of determinants of schooling decisions and child labor. It provides valuable lessons on how unconditional transfers can impact schooling decisions and child labor.

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