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The Education, Labour Market and Health Consequences of Child Labour

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  • Beegle, Kathleen
  • Dehejia, Rajeev H
  • Gatti, Roberta

Abstract

Though there is a large literature on the determinants of child labour and many initiatives aimed at combating this phenomenon, there is limited evidence on the consequences of child labour for socioeconomic outcomes such as education, occupational choice, wages, and health. Using panel data from Vietnam and an instrumental variables strategy, we evaluate the effect of child labour participation on outcomes over a five-year horizon. We find significant negative impacts of child labour on subsequent school participation and educational attainment. On the other hand, we find that those who worked as children are likely to earn a higher wage as young adults. This effect more than fully offsets the foregone earnings due to reduced schooling, particularly for girls. We find no significant effects of child labour on several indicators of health. This evidence in part accounts for why child labour is such a pervasive phenomenon and suggests that the case against child labour requires both future increases in the returns to schooling (i.e., beyond the five year horizon encompassed by our data set) and that parents are able to borrow (or internally fund) the investment in schooling.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4443.

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Date of creation: May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4443

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Related research

Keywords: child labour; health; returns to education;

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Cited by:
  1. Richard Akresh & Emilie Bagby & Daien de Walque & Harounan Kazianga, 2012. "Child Labor, Schooling, and Child Ability," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7478, Mathematica Policy Research.
  2. Eric V. Edmonds & Nina Pavcnik, 2005. "Child Labor in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 199-220, Winter.
  3. Armand A Sim & Daniel Suryadarma & Asep Suryahadi, 2011. "The Consequences of Child Market Work on the Growth of Human Capital," Departmental Working Papers 2011-10, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  4. Del Carpio, Ximena V. & Loayza, Norman V., 2012. "The impact of wealth on the amount and quality of child labor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5959, The World Bank.

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