Explaining Variation in Child Labor Statistics
AbstractChild labor statistics are critical for assessing the extent and nature of child labor activities in developing countries. In practice, widespread variation exists in how child labor is measured. Questionnaire modules vary across countries and within countries over time along several dimensions, including respondent type and the structure of the questionnaire. Little is known about the effect of these differences on child labor statistics. This paper presents the results from a randomized survey experiment in Tanzania focusing on two survey aspects: different questionnaire design to classify children work and proxy response versus self-reporting. Use of a short module compared with a more detailed questionnaire has a statistically significant effect, especially on child labor force participation rates, and, to a lesser extent, on working hours. Proxy reports do not differ significantly from a child’s self-report. Further analysis demonstrates that survey design choices affect the coefficient estimates of some determinants of child labor in a child labor supply equation. The results suggest that low-cost changes to questionnaire design to clarify the concept of work for respondents can improve the data collected.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5156.
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Development Economics, 2012, 98 (1),136-147
Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Other versions of this item:
- J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
- C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Eric V. Edmonds, 2005.
"Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
- Eric V. Edmonds, 2003. "Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?," NBER Working Papers 10134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eric V. Edmonds & Norbert Schady, 2012.
"Poverty Alleviation and Child Labor,"
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 100-124, November.
- Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
- Sonia Bhalotra & Christopher Heady, 2003.
"Child Farm Labor: The Wealth Paradox,"
World Bank Economic Review,
World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 197-227, December.
- Sonia Bhalotra & Christopher Heady, 2003. "Child Farm Labor: The Wealth Paradox," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 03/553, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
- Bhalotra, Sonia & Heady, Christopher, 2001. "Child farm labour : the wealth paradox," Social Protection Discussion Papers 24088, The World Bank.
- Bardasi, Elena & Beegle, Kathleen & Dillon, Andrew & Serneels, Pieter, 2010.
"Do Labor Statistics Depend on How and to Whom the Questions Are Asked? Results from a Survey Experiment in Tanzania,"
IZA Discussion Papers
4733, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Bardasi, Elena & Beegle, Kathleen & Dillon, Andrew & Serneels, Pieter, 2010. "Do labor statistics depend on how and to whom the questions are asked ? results from a survey experiment in Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5192, The World Bank.
- L. Guarcello & I. Kovrova & S. Lyon & M. Manacorda & F. C. Rosati, 2010. "Towards consistency in child labour measurement: Assessing the comparability of estimates generated by different survey instruments," UCW Working Paper 54, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
- Dammert, Ana C. & Galdo, Jose, 2013.
"Child Labor Variation by Type of Respondent: Evidence from a Large-Scale Study,"
Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 207-220.
- Dammert, Ana C. & Galdo, Jose C., 2013. "Child Labor Variation by Type of Respondent: Evidence from a Large-Scale Study," IZA Discussion Papers 7446, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Samphantharak, Krislert & Townsend, Robert M., 2012. "Measuring the return on household enterprise: What matters most for whom?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 58-70.
- Charles Kenny, Jonathan Karver, and Andy Sumner, 2012. "MDGs 2.0: What Goals, Targets, and Timeframe? - Working Paper 297," Working Papers 297, Center for Global Development.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.