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Child Farm Labour: Theory and Evidence

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Author Info

  • Sonia R Bhalotra
  • Chris Heady

Abstract

This paper presents a dynamic model of child labour supply in a farming household. The model clarifies the roles of land, income and household size, allowing labour and credit market imperfections. If labour markets are imperfect, child labour is increasing in farm size and decreasing in household size. The effect of income is shown to depend upon whether the effective choice is between work and school or whether leisure is involved. Credit market constraints tend to dilute the positive impact of farm size and reinforce the negative effect of income. The model is estimated for rural Ghana and Pakistan. A striking finding of the paper is that the effect of farm size at given levels of household income is significantly positive for girls in both countries, but not for boys. This is consistent with the finding, in other contexts, that females exhibit larger substitution effects in labour supply. Increases in household income have a negative impact on work for boys in Pakistan and for girls in Ghana but there is no income effect for the other two groups of children. We find interesting effects of household size and composition, female headship, and mothers' post-secondary education.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers with number 24.

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Date of creation: Jul 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stidep:24

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Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

Related research

Keywords: Child labour; poverty; female education; agricultural households; Ghana; Pakistan.;

References

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  1. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-91, May.
  2. Basu, Kaushik, 1999. "The intriguing relation between adult minimum wage and child labor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2173, The World Bank.
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  4. 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.
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  9. 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.
  10. Peter Jensen & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 1997. "Child labour or school attendance? Evidence from Zambia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 407-424.
  11. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 1999. "Does child labor displace schooling? - evidence on behavioral responses to an enrollment subsidy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2116, The World Bank.
  12. Benjamin, Dwayne, 1992. "Household Composition, Labor Markets, and Labor Demand: Testing for Separation in Agricultural Household Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 287-322, March.
  13. Butcher, Kristin F & Case, Anne, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-63, August.
  14. Ranjan, Priya, 1999. "An economic analysis of child labor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 99-105, July.
  15. George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
  16. Kaushik Basu, 2003. "Analytical Development Economics: The Less Developed Economy Revisited," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262523442, January.
  17. Cochrane, S. & Kozel, V. & Alderman, H., 1990. "Household consequences of high fertility in Pakistan," World Bank - Discussion Papers 111, World Bank.
  18. 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.
  19. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. C. Simon Fan, 2004. "Relative wage, child labor, and human capital," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 687-700, October.
  2. Syed Imran Ali Meerza & Biswajit Bacher, 2011. "Socio-economic Condition of Child Worker of Bangladesh in Their Adulthood: An Econometric Analysis," SDSU Working Papers in Progress 22011, South Dakota State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Ersado, Lire, 2003. "Child Labor And Schooling Decisions In Urban And Rural Areas: Cross-Country Evidence," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 21924, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  4. Sarbajit Chaudhuri & Manash Ranjan Gupta, 2005. "Child Labour And Trade Liberalization In A Developing Economy," Labor and Demography 0510017, EconWPA.
  5. Mukherjee, Dipa, 2010. "Child workers in India: an overview of macro dimensions," MPRA Paper 35049, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2011.
  6. Syed Imran Ali Meerza, 2010. "Rural-Urban Migration and Its Consequences on Rural Children: An Empirical Study," SDSU Working Papers in Progress 12010, South Dakota State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Harper, Caroline & Marcus, Rachel & Moore, Karen, 2003. "Enduring Poverty and the Conditions of Childhood: Lifecourse and Intergenerational Poverty Transmissions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 535-554, March.
  8. Eric V. Edmonds, 2005. "Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  9. Dustmann, Christian & Micklewright, John & van Soest, Arthur, 2004. "In-School Work Experience, Parental Allowances, and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 1235, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Ersado, Lire, 2005. "Child Labor and Schooling Decisions in Urban and Rural Areas: Comparative Evidence from Nepal, Peru, and Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 455-480, March.
  11. Ersado, Lire, 2002. "Child labor and school decisions in urban and rural areas," FCND discussion papers 145, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  12. Massimiliano Bratti, 2001. "Oltre la scuola dellÕobbligo. Un' analisi empirica della decisione di proseguire nellÕistruzione post-obbligatoria in Italia," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 54(214), pages 175-203.

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