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The Impact of Child Labor and School Quality on Academic Achievement in Brazil

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Author Info

  • Bezerra, Márcio Eduardo G.

    (University of Sao Paulo)

  • Kassouf, Ana Lucia

    ()
    (University of Sao Paulo)

  • Arends-Kuenning, Mary P.

    ()
    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

We analyze the impact of child labor on school achievement using Brazilian school achievement test data from the 2003 Sistema Nacional de Avaliação da Educação Básica (SAEB). We control for the endogeneity of child labor using instrumental variable techniques, where the instrumental variable is the average wage for unskilled male labor in the state. Using our preferred OLS estimates, we find that child labor causes a loss in students' school achievement. Children and adolescents who do not work have better school performance than students who work. Up to two hours of work per day do not have a statistically significant effect on school performance, but additional hours decrease student's achievement. Differences in work conditions affect school performance. For high school students in Portuguese, compared to students who have schooling as their only activity, students who work only at home score 4 percent lower on the tests. Those students who only work outside the house are worse off than those who only work within the house, with test scores decreasing by 5 percent. Students who work both inside and outside the house have the lowest test scores of all the working conditions, decreasing by up to 7 percent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4062.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4062

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Keywords: child labor; school achievement; Brazil;

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References

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  1. Paul Glewwe, 2002. "Schools and Skills in Developing Countries: Education Policies and Socioeconomic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 436-482, June.
  2. 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.
  3. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  4. Patrick M. Emerson & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "Birth Order, Child Labor and School Attendance in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0212, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Kaushik Basu & Zafiris Tzannatos, 2003. "The Global Child Labor Problem: What Do We Know and What Can We Do?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 147-173, December.
  7. Gunnarsson, Victoria & Orazem, Peter & Sanchez, Mario A., 2003. "Child Labor and School Achievement in Latin America," Staff General Research Papers 10684, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Hideo Akabayashi & George Psacharopoulos, 1999. "The trade-off between child labour and human capital formation: A Tanzanian case study," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(5), pages 120-140.
  9. Patrick M. Emerson & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "Bargaining over Sons and Daughters: Child Labor, School Attendance and Intra-Household Gender Bias in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0213, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  10. Kaushik Basu, 1999. "Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
  11. George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
  12. Owen O'Donnell & Furio C. Rosati & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2005. "Health effects of child work: Evidence from rural Vietnam," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 437-467, 09.
  13. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G., 2004. "Economic growth and the demand for education: is there a wealth effect?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 33-51, June.
  14. Orazem, Peter F & Gunnarsson, Victoria, 2003. "Child labour, school attendance and academic performance : a review," ILO Working Papers 366541, International Labour Organization.
  15. Sonia Bhalotra, and Zafiris Tzannatos, 2003. "Child labor : what have we learnt?," Social Protection Discussion Papers 27872, The World Bank.
  16. Furio C. Rosati & Mariacristina Rossi, 2003. "Children's Working Hours and School Enrollment: Evidence from Pakistan and Nicaragua," CEIS Research Paper 25, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  17. Ana Lúcia Kassouf, 2001. "Trabalho infantil: escolaridade x emprego," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 2(2), pages 549-586, July-Dece.
  18. Heady, Christopher, 2003. "The Effect of Child Labor on Learning Achievement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 385-398, February.
  19. Fernanda Cabral Santos & André Portela Fernandes de Souza, 2007. "A Redução Do Trabalho Infantil E O Aumento Da Freqüência Escolar Na Década De 90 No Brasil," Anais do XXXV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 35th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 129, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  20. Duryea, Suzanne & Arends-Kuenning, Mary, 2003. "School Attendance, Child Labor and Local Labor Market Fluctuations in Urban Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1165-1178, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev H. & Gatti, Roberta & Krutikova, Sofya, 2008. "The consequences of child labor : evidence from longitudinal data in rural Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4677, The World Bank.
  2. L. Guarcello & S. Lyon, 2003. "Children's work and water access in Yemen," UCW Working Paper 53, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
  3. Emerson, Patrick M. & Ponczek, Vladimir & Portela Souza, André, 2013. "Child Labor and Learning," IZA Discussion Papers 7578, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Emerson, Patrick M. & Ponczek, Vladimir & Portela Souza, Andre, 2014. "Child labor and learning," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6904, The World Bank.

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