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Economic growth: A panacea for child labor?

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  • Kambhampati, Uma S.
  • Rajan, Raji

Abstract

In this paper, we test whether economic growth will lead to a decline in child labour. Our analysis brings together household data from the National Sample Survey of India and state level macro data from various sources to estimate a bivariate probit model analysing the impact of growth and development on the probability of child employment across 15 states in India. Our results lead us to conclude that contrary to popular wisdom, growth actually increases rather than decreases child labour. Pro-poor growth however does help to reduce child labour significantly amongst both boys and girls. we also find that macroeconomic prosperity has a greater impact on girls that on boys and we conclude that this is because in India's socio-cultural environment, girls are sent outside the home to work only in extreme circumstances. In this context, any improvement is likely to impact first upon girls and only then on boys.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 34 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 426-445

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:34:y:2006:i:3:p:426-445

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References

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  1. Bhalotra, Sonia & Heady, Christopher, 2001. "Child farm labour : the wealth paradox," Social Protection Discussion Papers 24088, The World Bank.
  2. Uma Kambhampati & Raji Rajan, 2008. "The 'Nowhere' Children: Patriarchy and the Role of Girls in India's Rural Economy," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(9), pages 1309-1341.
  3. Basu, Kaushik, 1998. "Child labor : cause, consequence, and cure, with remarks on International Labor Standards," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2027, The World Bank.
  4. Ray, Ranjan, 2000. "Child Labor, Child Schooling, and Their Interaction with Adult Labor: Empirical Evidence for Peru and Pakistan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 347-67, May.
  5. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Why have some Indian states done better than others at reducing rural poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1594, The World Bank.
  6. Horrell Sara & Humphries Jane, 1995. "The Exploitation of Little Children: Child Labor and the Family Economy in the Industrial Revolution," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 485-516, October.
  7. Uma Kambhampati, 2004. "Does Child Work Decrease with Parental Income?: The Luxury Axiom Revisited in India," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2004-02, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  8. Swaminathan, Madhura, 1998. "Economic growth and the persistence of child labor: Evidence from an Indian city," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 1513-1528, August.
  9. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C. & Guarcello, Lorenzo, 2002. "Does Globalisation Increase Child Labour?," IZA Discussion Papers 470, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2004-21 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Uma Kambhampati, 2010. "Is Rural Child Labour Declining in India?," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2009-06, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  3. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  4. Mita Bhattacharya, 2007. "Globalisation And Child Labour: Evidence From India," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 09-07, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  5. C. Simon Fan, 2011. "The Luxury Axiom, The Wealth Paradox, And Child Labor," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 36(3), pages 25-45, September.
  6. Nigar Hashimzade & Uma Kambhampati, 2010. "Growth and Inverted U in Child Labour: A Dual Economy Approach," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2009-07, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  7. 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.
  8. Eugenia Fotoniata & Thomas Moutos, 2011. "Product Quality, Informality, and Child Labour," CESifo Working Paper Series 3537, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Eric V. Edmonds & Norbert Schady, 2012. "Poverty Alleviation and Child Labor," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 100-124, November.
  10. Uma Sarada Kambhampati, 2009. "Child Schooling and Work Decisions in India: The Role of Household and Regional Gender Equity," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 77-112.
  11. Krisztina Kis-Katos, 2012. "Gender differences in work-schooling decisions in rural North India," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 491-519, December.
  12. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2009-07 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2009-06 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. 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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