Journal Article

Risk, Financial Markets, and Human Capital in a Developing Country

Hanan G. Jacoby and Emmanuel Skoufias

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 64, issue 3, pages 311-335
Published in print July 1997 | ISSN: 0034-6527
Published online July 1997 | e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2971716
Risk, Financial Markets, and Human Capital in a Developing Country

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This paper explores the link between financial market incompleteness and human capital accumulation. We examine how child school attendance responds to seasonal fluctuations in the income of agrarian households using panel data from rural India. To pinpoint market imperfections, we study responses to aggregate and idiosyncratic, as well as to anticipated and unanticipated, income shocks. Our main finding is that seasonal fluctuations in school attendance are a form of self-insurance, but one which does not result in a substantial loss of human capital on average.

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Subjects: Economics

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