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Opportunity, Inequality and the Intergenerational Transmission of Child Labour

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  • PATRICK M. EMERSON
  • SHAWN D. KNABB

Abstract

This paper presents a model in which opportunity differences within society result in child labour, where 'opportunity' is broadly defined but can include school quality, access to higher paying jobs, access to information about the returns to education and actual discrimination. If opportunity differences exist, child labour and poverty are shown to be symptomatic of this underlying socioeconomic condition. It is then shown that policies that ban child labour and/or introduce compulsory education laws can actually reduce dynastic welfare, increase poverty and further exacerbate income inequality within society, because they treat the symptom rather than the disease: the lack of opportunity. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2006.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 73 (2006)
Issue (Month): 291 (08)
Pages: 413-434

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:73:y:2006:i:291:p:413-434

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Cited by:
  1. Heather Congdon Fors, 2012. "Child Labour: A Review Of Recent Theory And Evidence With Policy Implications," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 570-593, 09.
  2. Patrick M. Emerson & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "Birth Order, Child Labor and School Attendance in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0212, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  3. L. Guarcello & S. Lyon, 2003. "Children's work and water access in Yemen," UCW Working Paper 53, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
  4. Karina Acevedo González & Raúl Quejada Pérez & Martha Yánez Contreras, 2011. "Determinantes y consecuencias del trabajo infantil: un análisis de la literatura," REVISTA FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS ECONÓMICAS, UNIVERSIDAD MILITAR NUEVA GRANADA.
  5. Patrick M. Emerson & Shawn D. Knabb, 2007. "Fiscal Policy, Expectation Traps, And Child Labor," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(3), pages 453-469, 07.
  6. Lodhi, Abdul Salam & Tsegai, Daniel W. & Gerber, Nicolas, 2011. "Determinants of participation in child’s education and alternative activities in Pakistan," Discussion Papers 119110, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).

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