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Does Work Impede Child Learning? The Case of Senegal

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  • Christelle Dumas

Abstract

In African countries, children often combine school and work. This article exploits Senegalese panel data to assess the relationship between child labor and learning, measured by test scores. Test scores from the beginning of primary school control for children’s cognitive abilities, and children’s past time allocation decisions are instrumented by changes in rainfall and distance to primary school. Some of the tests were administered verbally in order to pick up effects for children who had only attended school very briefly. I do not find that children’s past participation in economic activities is associated with lower adolescent cognitive achievement, but rather that it is associated with higher oral mathematics scores. This association is stronger when I control for years of schooling, which suggests that work does displace schooling but does allow children to acquire some skills.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/665603
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 60 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 773 - 793

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/665603

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  1. Canals-Cerda, Jose & Ridao-Cano, Cristobal, 2004. "The dynamics of school and work in rural Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3330, The World Bank.
  2. Hideo Akabayashi & George Psacharopoulos, 1999. "The trade-off between child labour and human capital formation: A Tanzanian case study," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(5), pages 120-140.
  3. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Heady, Christopher, 2003. "The Effect of Child Labor on Learning Achievement," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 385-398, February.
  5. Kathleen Beegle & Rajeev Dehejia & Roberta Gatti, 2004. "Why Should We Care About Child Labor? The Education, Labor Market, and Health Consequences of Child Labor," NBER Working Papers 10980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Emerson, Patrick M. & Ponczek, Vladimir P. & Souza, André Portela, 2013. "Child labor and learning," Textos para discussão 335, Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  2. BOUARÉ Issa & KUEPIE Mathias & MISANGUMUKINI Nicaise, 2010. "Environnements économique et éducatif des ménages et échec scolaire des enfants au Mali," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2010-02, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  3. Armand A Sim & Daniel Suryadarma & Asep Suryahadi, 2011. "The Consequences of Child Market Work on the Growth of Human Capital," Departmental Working Papers, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics 2011-10, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  4. Mauricio José Serpa Barros de Moura & Rodrigo de Losso da Silveira Bueno, 2014. "The Effect of Land Title on Child Labor Supply: Empirical Evidence from Brazil," Working Papers, Department of Economics, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP) 2014_08, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).

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