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Are labels effective against child labor?

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  • Baland, Jean-Marie
  • Duprez, Cédric

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the impact of introducing a label certifying the absence of child labor in the export production of the South. When most eligible producers in the South can obtain the label, its impact is considerably reduced by a displacement effect whereby adult workers replace children in the export sector while children replace adults in the domestic sector. The label is then unable to create a price differential in the South between goods produced under the label and those produced without it. When only a small fraction of eligible producers have access to the label, the South exports both labeled and unlabeled goods to the North. In this case, labeled producers generally gain while those without a label generally loose from the introduction of the label. Ex ante welfare may fall in the South if the probability of getting a label when one qualifies is small. The impact on child labor is in general ambiguous.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
Issue (Month): 11-12 (December)
Pages: 1125-1130

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:11-12:p:1125-1130

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

Related research

Keywords: Child labor Label Fair trade;

References

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  1. Ronald B. Davies, 2000. "Abstinence from Child Labor and Profit Seeking," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2000-1, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Aug 2002.
  2. Saqib Jafarey & Sajal Lahiri, 1999. "Will trade sanctions reduce child labour? The role of credit markets," Economics Discussion Papers 500, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  3. Bhalotra, Sonia & Heady, Christopher, 2001. "Child farm labour : the wealth paradox," Social Protection Discussion Papers 24088, The World Bank.
  4. James Levinsohn & Steven Berry & Ariel Pakes, 1999. "Voluntary Export Restraints on Automobiles: Evaluating a Trade Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 400-430, June.
  5. P. Deb & F. Rosati, 2002. "Determinants of Child Labour and School Attendance: The Role of Household Unobservables," UCW Working Paper 9, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
  6. George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
  7. Rosendorff, B Peter, 1996. "Voluntary Export Restraints, Antidumping Procedure, and Domestic Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 544-61, June.
  8. Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 1999. "Child labor and schooling in Africa : a comparative study," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20456, The World Bank.
  9. Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Coulombe, Harold, 1997. "Child labor and schooling in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1844, The World Bank.
  10. Eric V. Edmonds, 2005. "Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  11. Sonia Bhalotra, and Zafiris Tzannatos, 2003. "Child labor : what have we learnt?," Social Protection Discussion Papers 27872, The World Bank.
  12. Ranjan, P., 1999. ""Credit Constraints and the Phenomenon of Child Labor"," Papers 98-99-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  13. Basu, Kaushik, 2003. "Policy Dilemmas for Controlling Child Labor," Working Papers 03-11, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  14. Arnab K. Basu & Nancy H. Chau & Ulrike Grote, 2006. "Guaranteed Manufactured without Child Labor: The Economics of Consumer Boycotts, Social Labeling and Trade Sanctions," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 466-491, 08.
  15. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
  16. Basu, Kaushik & Tzannatos, Zafiris, 2003. "The Global Child Labor Problem: What Do We Know and What Can We Do?," Working Papers 03-06, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  17. Ray, R., 1998. "Analysis of Child Labour in Peru and Pakistan: a Comparative Study," Papers 1998-05, Tasmania - Department of Economics.
  18. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  19. Drusilla K. Brown, 1999. "Can Consumer Product Labels Deter Foreign Child Labor Exploitation?," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9919, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  20. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Michele Di Maio & Giorgio Fabbri, 2013. "Consumer boycott, household heterogeneity, and child labor," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 1609-1630, October.
  2. Irving Rosales, 2013. "Learn, sweat or steal: a theory of development and the activity of children," Working Papers 0613, Universidad Iberoamericana, Department of Economics.
  3. Dammert, Ana C. & Mohan, Sarah, 2014. "A Survey of the Economics of Fair Trade," IZA Discussion Papers 8167, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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