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The relation between child work and the employment of mothers in India

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  • Francesca Francavilla
  • Gianna Claudia Giannelli

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to study the relation between the employment of mothers and the activities of children with the aim of contributing to the understanding of child work in India. Design/methodology/approach – Multinomial logit specifications of children's activities and mothers' employment are estimated on survey data drawn from the National Family Health Survey 1998-1999 for all India. The joint specification combines four states of children aged 6-14 (studying, working in the market, working for the family or being inactive) with the employed/not employed status of mothers. Findings – The results show that the mother's preferred choice is not working and sending children to school. This is especially true for more educated mothers. Also the father's education is positively (negatively) related to child schooling (work), but the effect is smaller as compared to that of mothers. All specifications yield the result that the probability of children working increases if their mothers work. Higher levels of household wealth play a fundamental role in lowering the risk of child work. Research limitations/implications – This empirical model does not take into account the unobserved heterogeneity of two types – namely, the residual correlation among the outcomes of mothers and children, and the residual correlation among children of the same mother. Practical implications – The evidence that children of employed mothers have a higher risk of working suggests that the problem may be related to the low quality and pay of jobs accessible to women in India, especially in rural areas. The policy indication would then be to improve the condition of women in the labour market and also to improve the welfare of their children. Originality/value – While women's and children's time allocation has been studied in separate settings, in this paper these two aspects are analysed together for the first time.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 ( May)
Pages: 232-257

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:31:y:2010:i:2:p:232-257

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Related research

Keywords: Children; Education; India; Labour; Women workers;

References

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  1. Bourguignon, Francois & Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective models of household behavior : An introduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 355-364, April.
  2. Gautam Hazarika & Arjun Bedi, 2003. "Schooling Costs and Child Work in Rural Pakistan," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(5), pages 29-64.
  3. Christopher Heady, 2000. "What is the Effect of Child Labour on Learning Achievement? Evidence from Ghana," Innocenti Working Papers inwopa00/7, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
  4. Cigno, Alessandro, 2005. "A Constitutional Theory of the Family," IZA Discussion Papers 1797, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Jere Behrman & Andrew D. Foster & Mark Rosenzweig & Prem Vahsishtha, 1997. "Women's Schooling, Home Teaching, and Economic Growth," Home Pages _071, University of Pennsylvania.
  6. Ucw, 2008. "Understanding children's work in Uganda," UCW Country Studies 9, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
  7. Keane, Michael P, 1992. "A Note on Identification in the Multinomial Probit Model," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(2), pages 193-200, April.
  8. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 7666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. L.Guarcello & S.Lyon & F.Rosati, 2006. "Child labour and Education for All: an issue paper," UCW Working Paper 19, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
  10. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  11. Jean Drèze & Mamta Murthi, 2001. "Fertility, Education, and Development: Evidence from India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(1), pages 33-63.
  12. M.Biggeri & L.Guarcello & S.Lyon & F.Rosati, 2003. "The Puzzle of 'Idle' Children: Neither in School nor performing Economic Activity: Evidence from six Countries," UCW Working Paper 5, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. F. Francavilla & Gianna Claudia Giannelli & Leonardo Grilli, 2010. "Mothers’ Employment and their Children’s Schooling: a Joint Multilevel Analysis for India," Working Papers - Economics wp2010_07.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  2. Francavilla, Francesca & Giannelli, Gianna Claudia, 2011. "Does family planning help the employment of women? The case of India," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 412-426, October.

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