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Child Labor and School Achievement in Latin America

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  • Gunnarsson, Victoria
  • Orazem, Peter
  • Sanchez, Mario A.

Abstract

Child laborï¾’s effect on academic achievement is estimated, using unique data on 3rd and 4th graders in 9 Latin American countries. Cross-country variation in truancy regulations provides an exogenous shift in the ages of children normally in these grades, providing exogenous variation in opportunity cost of child time. Least-squares estimates of the impact of child labor on test scores are biased downward, but corrected estimates are still negative and statistically significant. Children working one standard deviation above the mean have average scores that are 16% lower on mathematics exams and 11% lower on language exams, consistent with estimates of the adverse impact of child labor on returns to schooling.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 10684.

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Date of creation: 18 Aug 2003
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Publication status: Published in World Bank Economic Review, January 2006, vol. 20 no. 1, pp. 31-54
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:10684

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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