Economics Faculty Publications

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This study identifies the impact of Hurricane Matthew on school attendance in an agricultural community in rural Haiti. We conducted a survey of parents whose children attended a rural school prior to Hurricane Matthew to determine the mechanism by which hurricanes impact school attendance. We determined the marginal effect of family size and school enrollment using a probit model. Parents identified two primary causes for their children leaving school: a loss of income—through crop damage and livestock deaths—and requiring the children’s labor on the family farm. In our sample 96 children, 46% of the children enrolled in school, stopped attending because of the hurricane. No parent reported that their child(ren) left school because of illness or injury. Families with more children in school before the storm were 5% (p < 0.001) more likely to have a child remain in school. Families with some children not attending school before the hurricane were 7.6% (p < 0.001) more likely to leave school after the storm. The survey and probit model both suggest that an income constraint caused children to leave school. There is limited empirical evidence that students leave school to provide labor on family farms, and no evidence they leave school because of illness or injury.

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© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

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international journal of environmental research and public health