Social Conformity and Child Labor
AbstractThis paper investigates the phenomenon of child labor. I consider a society that in principle values education. Parents derive utility from social conformity, and “good” and “bad” equilibria can arise where the majority of children respectively do and do not go to school. In a “bad” equilibrium, social conformity sustains child labor, and I consider policies to change the equilibrium. Taxes on income from child labor may not be a feasible enforcement task for the tax administration. Incentive payments financed by domestic taxation can be provided to parents who send children to school, and can, but need not, discourage child labor. Also, again the domestic tax base may not be available. The effective and assured means of changing social norms to end child labor is externally financed incentive payments. Such payments can require extensive foreign assistance. However, when social norms underlie the phenomenon of child labor, the external assistance need only be temporary since the change in social norms is a case of hysteresis. After a period of time the incentive payments to parents can be removed, and an equilibrium where children go to school rather than work is sustained.
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 Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University in its series Working Papers with number 2001-14.
Date of creation: Jul 2001
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Faculty of Social Sciences, Bar Ilan University 52900 Ramat-Gan
Phone: Phone: +972-3-5318345
Web page: http://econ.biu.ac.il
More information through EDIRC
Child labor; social conformity; social norms; education and economic development;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
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.:
- Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996.
"The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
- Ray, R., 1998.
"Analysis of Child Labour in Peru and Pakistan: a Comparative Study,"
1998-05, Tasmania - Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Margo, Robert A & Finegan, T Aldrich, 1993.
"The Decline in Black Teenage Labor-Force Participation in the South, 1900-1970: The Role of Schooling,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 234-47, March.
- Robert A. Margo & T. Aldrich Finegan, 1991. "The Decline in Black Teenage Labor Force Participation in the South, 1900-1970: The Role of Schooling," NBER Working Papers 3704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen, 1996.
"Social Norms, the Welfare State, and Voting,"
Working Paper Series
453, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms, the Welfare State, and Voting," Seminar Papers 608, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Lindbeck, A & Nyberg, S & Weibull, J-W, 1996. "Social Norms, the Welfare State, and Voting," Papers 608, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Ranjan, Priya, 1999. "An economic analysis of child labor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 99-105, July.
- Moshe Hazan & Binyamin Berdugo, 2002.
"Child Labour, Fertility, and Economic Growth,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 810-828, October.
- Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997.
"Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State,"
Working Paper Series
476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jšrgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms And Economic Incentives In The Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35, February.
- Moehling, Carolyn M., 1999. "State Child Labor Laws and the Decline of Child Labor," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 72-106, January.
- Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Department of Economics).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.