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Barriers to Capital Accumulation and the Incidence of Child Labor

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  • Richard C. Barnett
  • Marco A. Espinosa-Vega

Abstract

The World Bank documents an inverse relationship between GDP per-capita and child labor participation rates. We construct a life-cycle model with human and physical capital in which parents make a time allocation choice for their child. The model considers two features that have shown potential in explaining differences in states of development across nations. These are: i) a minimum consumption requirement, and ii) barriers to physical capital accumulation. We find the introduction of capital barriers alone is not enough to replicate the aforementioned observation by the World Bank. However, we find the interplay of a minimum consumption requirement and barriers to capital may enhance our understanding of child labor, human capital, and the poverty of nations. Additionally, we find support for policies aimed at reducing capital barriers as means to reduce child labor over an out and out ban on it.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c016_014.

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Length: 24 pages JEL Classification:
Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c016_014

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  1. Diego Restuccia, 2004. "Barriers to Capital Accumulation and Aggregate Total Factor Productivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 225-238, 02.
  2. 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.
  3. Das Satya P & Deb Rajat, 2006. "A Dynamic Analysis of Child Labor with a Variable Rate of Discount: Some Policy Implications," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-30, August.
  4. Rangazas, Peter, 2000. "Schooling and economic growth: A King-Rebelo experiment with human capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 397-416, October.
  5. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  6. Liwa Rachel Ngai, 2000. "Barriers and the Transition to Modern Growth," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1578, Econometric Society.
  7. Steger, Thomas M., 2000. "Economic growth with subsistence consumption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 343-361, August.
  8. Ranjan, P., 1999. ""Credit Constraints and the Phenomenon of Child Labor"," Papers 98-99-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  9. Chatterjee, S. & Ravikumar, B., 1997. "Minimum Consumption Requirements: Theoretical and Quantitative Implications for Growth and Distribution," Working Papers 97-15, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  10. Stephen L. Parente & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 2000. "Homework in Development Economics: Household Production and the Wealth of Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 680-687, August.
  11. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Inflation and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jones, Charles I., 1994. "Economic growth and the relative price of capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 359-382, December.
  13. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri, 2001. "Efficient Investment in Children," RCER Working Papers 481, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  14. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
  15. Atkeson, A. & Ogaki, M., 1991. "Wealth-Varying Intertemporal Elasticities of Substitution Evidence from Panel and Aggregate Data," RCER Working Papers 303, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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