Oppgaven undersøker hvordan velferden til barn i Malawi er påvirket av hvorvidt de bor sammen med begge foreldrene eller ikke. Etter en mer generell undersøkelse av alle barn som ble omfattet av Malawi Demographic and Health Survey i 2004, ser jeg nærmere på barn av migrant-fedre og hvordan deres velferd skiller seg fra barn som bor sammen med begge foreldrene, barn der foreldrene er skilt og barn som har en død far. (se også engelsk sammendrag for mer utfylling)
This study examines how the welfare of Malawian children is associated with whether they live with their parents or not. The children’s welfare is measured by indicators on health, educationand child labour obtained from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2004, and analysed using SAS programming software. Without claiming to estimate a causal effect or provide a basisfor recommendations of appropriate strategies for individuals, I examine how the relationship between co-residence with parents and indicators of child welfare can be explained. Although theDHS does not ask directly about parental migration, this study is also able to estimate the welfare effect of having a migrant father.There are thus two main research questions:o What is the relationship between Malawian children’s welfare and whether their mothers and fathers are dead, living somewhere else, or living in the household?o What are the welfare differences between children whose father is a migrant and other children?
There are three main contributions from this study.First, parents’ presence does matter. By examining the situation for children in Malawi not living with both parents, it has been shown that children living with both parents usually have a higher welfare, measured in weight-for-height, mosquito net use, and school attendance, compared to children with one or both parents absent. Although the double orphans are clearly disadvantaged in some aspects, they are not the only vulnerable children identified in this study, and they constitute only a small proportion of children living without parents. Strategies targeting vulnerable children in Malawi should thus take into consideration also other categories ofchildren, for instance the ones living with their mother only.Second, it has been demonstrated how the DHS, which is a survey conducted in most developing countries, can be used to investigate the situation for migrants’ children, even if the DHS does not ask questions on migration directly.Third, using this methodology, the situation for Malawian children of migrant men has been examined. Compared with other children also living with their mother, but whose parents are divorced or whose father has died, the migrants’ children are found to be more often wasted, but they more often get medical treatment when ill and more often sleep under a mosquito net. Compared with children living with both parents, the migrants’ children are more observed to be more often wasted and less often sleep under a mosquito net. They are, however, taken more often to medical facilities when they are coughing. The overall impression is that the migrants’ childrenhave almost the same welfare as children living with both parents, whereas children with dead fathers or divorced mothers appear to have a slightly lower welfare.