Revisiting the Link Between Poverty and Child Labor: The Ghanaian Experience
AbstractThe link between poverty and child labor has traditionally been regarded a well established fact. Recent research, however, has questioned the validity of this link, claiming that poverty is not a main determinant of child labor. Starting from a premise that child labor is necessarily harmful, we analyze the determinants of harmful child labor, viewed as child labor that directly conflicts with the human capital accumulation of the child in an attempt to identify the most vulnerable groups, thus possibly enabling appropriate actions to be taken by policy makers. We reinstate the positive relationship between poverty and child labor, a conjecture that has been questioned by recent litterature. Further, we find evidence of a gender gap in child labor linked to poverty, since girls as a group as well as across urban, rural and poverty sub-samples consistently are found to be more likely to engage in harmful child labor than boys. The established gender gap need not necessarily imply discrimination but rather reflect cultural norms. A further exploration of this issue seems to be a potentially fruitful avenue for further research. The last main finding is that there exist structural differences in the processes underlying harmful child labor in Ghana across gender, across rural/urban location as well as across poverty quintiles of households
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research in its series CLS Working Papers with number 01-3.
Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2001
Date of revision:
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Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
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Africa; Ghana; Child labor; Human capital accumulation; Poverty;
Other versions of this item:
- Blunch, Niels-Hugo & Verner, Dorte, 2000. "Revisiting the link between poverty and child labor - the Ghanaian experience," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2488, The World Bank.
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
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- Nielsen, H.S., 1998. "Child Labor and School Attendance: Two Joint Decisions," Papers 98-15, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
- Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Coulombe, Harold, 1997. "Child labor and schooling in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1844, The World Bank.
- Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997.
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- Lavy, Victor, 1996. "School supply constraints and children's educational outcomes in rural Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 291-314, December.
- Grootaert, Christiaan & Kanbur, Ravi, 1995. "Child labor : a review," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1454, The World Bank.
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