Longer-Term Consequences of Parental Death on Teenage Children's Well-Being: Evidence from an Exogenous Shock in Indonesia

Elizabeth Frankenberg, Duke University
Ava Cas, Duke University

The question of how parental death affects teenage children’s welfare has become more prominent as the AIDS epidemic has generated rising proportions of children in such circumstances. Arriving at answers however is complicated by the fact that researchers are rarely able to exploit situations where parental deaths are exogenously determined with respect to other behaviors that affect the children’s welfare. This paper addresses these issues using a unique multiwave panel dataset (STAR) collected before and after the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. In general, the evolution of well-being in the aftermath of the tsunami has proceeded differently for orphans and non-orphans. There are sizeable gender differences in the impact of parental death, with orphaned boys increasing workforce participation and orphaned girls marrying. These effects grow over time.

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Presented in Session 144: Short- and Long-Term Consequences of Parental Absence or Death