Child Labor And Schooling Decisions In Urban And Rural Areas: Cross-Country Evidence
AbstractChild labor is widespread in developing countries, but its causes are debatable. Poverty is considered the primary reason, but many theoretical and empirical analyses show that other factors, such as access to credit, school quality and labor market opportunities, play equal or even greater roles in child labor and schooling decisions. This study surveys the existing literature and, taking into account urban-rural divides, aims to shed light on the debate with empirical evidence from Nepal, Peru, and Zimbabwe. We find that while there is strong evidence that poverty drives child labor in rural areas, there is a general lack of support for poverty hypothesis in urban areas. This suggests that policies such as a ban on child labor in rural areas could have an adverse effect, as child labor decisions are more likely a response to poverty and subsistence requirements. Similarly improving access to credit has greater potential for alleviating child labor and enhancing school enrollment in rural than urban areas, particularly in Nepal and Zimbabwe. On the other hand, the availability of alternative childcare options appears to considerably decrease child labor and create conditions for higher school attendance rates in urban than rural areas. Finally, the evidence from all three countries indicates that efforts to bolster adult educational levels and wages will help curb the prevalence and intensity of child labor and improve the likelihood that children stay in school.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada with number 21924.
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Phone: (414) 918-3190
Fax: (414) 276-3349
Web page: http://www.aaea.org
More information through EDIRC
Labor and Human Capital;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-85, May.
- 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.
- Jafarey, Saqib & Lahiri, Sajal, 2002. "Will trade sanctions reduce child labour?: The role of credit markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 137-156, June.
- Jacoby, Hanan G, 1994. "Borrowing Constraints and Progress through School: Evidence from Peru," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 151-60, February.
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
- Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Coulombe, Harold, 1997. "Child labor and schooling in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1844, The World Bank.
- Psacharopoulos, George, 1994.
"Returns to investment in education: A global update,"
Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
- Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1067, The World Bank.
- Skoufias, Emmanual & Parker, Susan W., 2002.
"Labor market shocks and their impacts on work and schooling,"
FCND discussion papers
129, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Skoufias, Emmanual & Parker, Susan W., 2002. "Labor market shocks and their impacts on work and schooling," FCND briefs 129, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Jacoby, Hanan G & Skoufias, Emmanuel, 1997. "Risk, Financial Markets, and Human Capital in a Developing Country," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 311-35, July.
- Sonia Bhalotra, 2000.
"Is Child Work Necessary?,"
Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers
0500, Econometric Society.
- Sonia R Bhalotra, 2000. "Is Child Work Necessary?," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 26, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Sonia Bhalotra, 2003. "Is Child Work Necessary?," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 03/554, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
- Sonia Bhalotra, 2000. "Is child work necessary?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6652, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Bhalotra, Sonia, 2001. "Is child work necessary?," Social Protection Discussion Papers 24660, The World Bank.
- Kaushik Basu, 1999.
"Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
- Basu, Kaushik, 1998. "Child labor : cause, consequence, and cure, with remarks on International Labor Standards," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2027, The World Bank.
- Robert J. Barro, 1989.
"Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries,"
NBER Working Papers
3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pradhan, M.P. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 1997.
"Household labor supply in urban areas of Bolivia,"
Open Access publications from Tilburg University
urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-74119, Tilburg University.
- Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992.
"A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
- Ranjan, Priya, 1999. "An economic analysis of child labor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 99-105, July.
- Drusilla Brown, 2001.
"Child Labour in Latin America: Policy and Evidence,"
The World Economy,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(6), pages 761-778, 06.
- Drusilla K. Brown, 2001. "Child Labor in Latin America: Policy and Evidence," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0110, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Cochrane, S. & Kozel, V. & Alderman, H., 1990. "Household consequences of high fertility in Pakistan," World Bank - Discussion Papers 111, World Bank.
- Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
- George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 1997. "Family size, schooling and child labor in Peru - An empirical analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 387-405.
- 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.
- Sonia Bhalotra & Chris Heady, 2000.
"Child farm labour: theory and evidence,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
6654, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Sonia R Bhalotra & Chris Heady, 2000. "Child Farm Labour: Theory and Evidence," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 24, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
- Ranjan, P., 1999.
""Credit Constraints and the Phenomenon of Child Labor","
98-99-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
- Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
- Levison, Deborah & Moe, Karine S. & Marie Knaul, Felicia, 2001. "Youth Education and Work in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 167-188, January.
- Binder, Melissa, 1999. "Community effects and desired schooling of parents and children in Mexico," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 311-325, June.
- Glick, Peter & Sahn, David E., 1999. "Schooling of girls and boys in a West African country: the effects of parental education, income, and household structure," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 63-87, February.
- George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
- Ranjan Ray, 2000.
"Analysis of child labour in Peru and Pakistan: A comparative study,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 3-19.
- Ray, R., 1998. "Analysis of Child Labour in Peru and Pakistan: a Comparative Study," Papers 1998-05, Tasmania - Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.