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Rotten Parents and Child Labor

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  • Antoine Bommier
  • Pierre Dubois

Abstract

We show that taking into account the consequences of child labor on both childhood welfare and human capital investment, instead of focusing exclusively on the human capital dimension, brings new insights on the economic analysis of child labor. In particular, there are new sources of potential inefficiencies that appear when we assume that labor induces some disutility. In such a case, household decisions regarding child labor may indeed be inefficient even if household members are altruistic, transfers are not at a corner and there are no market imperfections. Also, the presence of child labor disutility leads to an equilibrium where the conditions for an exogenous reduction of child labor to be Pareto improving are less likely to be fulfilled. This paper stresses therefore the fact that economic analysis should not forget one of the most important aspects of child labor, namely that it does not make children happy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 112 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 240-248

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:112:y:2004:i:1:p:240-248

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Cited by:
  1. Eric V. Edmonds, 2007. "Child Labor," NBER Working Papers 12926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alice Fabre & Stéphane Pallage, 2013. "Child Labor, Idiosyncratic Shocks, and Social Policy," AMSE Working Papers 1358, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised 05 Nov 2013.
  3. Eric V. Edmonds, 2004. "Does Illiquidity Alter Child Labor and Schooling Decisions? Evidence from Household Responses to Anticipated Cash Transfers in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 10265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Elise S. Brezis, 2012. "Population Dynamics and Economic Growth: Should We Adopt Different Frameworks for Poor and Rich Countries?," Working Papers 2012-04, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  5. Gugl, Elisabeth & Leroux, Justin, 2011. "Share the gain, share the pain? Almost transferable utility, changes in production possibilities, and bargaining solutions," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 133-143.
  6. Eric V. Edmonds, 2005. "Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  7. Sonia Bhalotra, 2004. "Parent Altruism, Cash Transfers and Child Poverty," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 04/561, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  8. Edmonds, Eric V. & Pavcnik, Nina, 2006. "International trade and child labor: Cross-country evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 115-140, January.
  9. Edmonds, Eric V. & Pavcnik, Nina, 2005. "The effect of trade liberalization on child labor," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 401-419, March.
  10. Shunsuke Sakamoto, 2006. "Parental Attitudes toward Children and Child Labor: Evidence from Rural India," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d05-136, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  11. Chaudhuri, Sanjukta, 2009. "The School Going Child Worker: An Analysis of Poverty, Asset Inequality and Child Education in Rural India," MPRA Paper 19687, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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