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Child labor, school attendance and access to health care services by children: evidence from Ghana

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  • Vincenzo Atella
  • Mariacristina Rossi

Abstract

The paper develops a simple two-period model relating child labor, child school attendance and child health care access in LDCs showing that child labor is positively correlated to access to health care services. In fact, higher medical expenditure generates better health and, therefore, higher child productivity. Accumulation of human capital, which generates higher future utility, comes at the expense of current productivity and consumption. The optimal choice of child labor is such that the marginal benefit of schooling is equal to the marginal productivity of child labor, which is enhanced by additional medical expenditure. Under this theoretical set-up we expect medical expenditure and child labor to be positively correlated, with parents caring more for their children if they contribute to household income. We explore these relationships using a micro data set from Ghana LSS for the year 1999. Empirical results confirm the model theoretical predictions.

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File URL: http://www.carloalberto.org/assets/working-papers/no.178.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Collegio Carlo Alberto in its series Carlo Alberto Notebooks with number 178.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:178

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Keywords: Child labor; Health care demand; Human capital; Latent variables; multivariate Probit; Unobserved heterogeneity; LDCs;

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  1. Owen O'Donnell & Furio C. Rosati & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2005. "Health effects of child work: Evidence from rural Vietnam," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 437-467, 09.
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