This paper presents results of research that investigates if long hours of work spent by children in fuel wood collection and water collection activities, hereafter referred to as resource (collection) work, are related to the probability that a child aged 6-14 will attend school. Possible endogeneity of resource work hours is corrected for, using two-stage conditional maximum likelihood estimation. Using data from a 1997-98 Malawi Integrated Household Survey (IHS) conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO), the study finds that children are significantly involved in resource collection work and their probability of attending school decreases with increases in hours spent on this work. The study further shows that girls spend more hours on resource work and are more likely to be going to school while burdened by this work. Consequently, girls may find it difficult to progress well in school. However, girls are not necessarily less likely to be attending school. The results further show that presence of more women in a household is associated with a lower burden of resource work on children and a higher probability of children's school attendance while that of men is not. Finally, the study shows that children from the most environmentally degraded districts of central and southern Malawi are less likely to attend school and few of them have progressed to secondary school compared to those from the north region districts.


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