Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Parents’ Perception of Education and Choice of Childhood Activities: Evidence from Pakistan

We investigate parents’ perceptions of various educational systems and their impact on the decision to either send their children to school, or engage them in other childhood activities. Childhood activities are categorised as follows: secular schooling, religious (non- secular schooling), child labour, child labour combined with secular schooling, and leisure (inactivity). The paper uses the household survey data of 2,496 children, 963 households, and 40 villages in Pakistan. A Multinomial Probit Model analysed the impact of various socio- economic variables on the likelihood of choosing an activity for children. Results indicate that the following factors influence the parents’ decisions in selection of activities for their children: the parents’ level of education, mother’s relative authority in household decisions, degree of religiosity of the head of household, beliefs in tribal norms, household income, and proximity to the school. The findings provide insignificant evidence to support the “luxury axiom” hypothesis that children only work when their families are unable to meet their basic needs.

Lubna Naz,

Abdul Salam Lodhi,

Daniel W. Tsegai