Human Capital Investment and Poverty Reduction over Generations: A Case from the Rural Philippines, 1979-2003

Discussion Papers


by TAKAHASHI Kazushi and OTSUKA Keijiro

March 2007


This paper attempts to identify a pathway out of poverty over generations in the rural Philippines, based on long-term panel data spanning for nearly a quarter of a century. Specifically, it sequentially examines the determinants of schooling, subsequent occupational choices, and current non-farm earnings for the same individuals. We found that an initial rise in parental income, brought about by the land reform and the Green Revolution, among other things, improves the schooling of children, which later allows them to obtain remunerative non-farm jobs. These results suggest that the increased agricultural income, improved human capital through schooling and the development of non-farm sectors are the keys to reducing poverty in the long run. It must be also pointed out that the recent development of the rural non-farm sector offers ample employment opportunities for the less educated, which also significantly contributed to the poverty reduction.

Keywords: Intergenerational Poverty Dynamics, Child Schooling, Occupational Choice, Non-farm Earnings
JEL classification: I32, J24, J62, O15

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