Selling Crops Early to Pay for School: A Large-scale Natural Experiment in Malawi

Brian Dillon
PI-Provided Abstract: In 2010, primary school in Malawi began in September, three months earlier than in 2009. We show that this change forced households to sell crops early, when prices are low. The effect is limited to households with school children, increases in the number of children, and is present only for poor households. Households that financed school by selling crops early missed out on an expected 17.3-26.5% increase in output prices over three months....
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