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Child Labor and Learning

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Author Info

  • Emerson, Patrick M.

    ()
    (Oregon State University)

  • Ponczek, Vladimir

    ()
    (Sao Paulo School of Economics)

  • Portela Souza, André

    ()
    (Sao Paulo School of Economics)

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of working while in school on learning outcomes through the use of a unique micro panel dataset of students in the São Paulo municipal school system. The potential endogeneity of working decisions and learning outcomes is addressed through the use of a difference-in-difference estimator and it is shown that the results are robust. A negative and significant effect of working on learning outcomes in both math and Portuguese is found. The effects of child work from the benchmark regressions range from 3% to 8% of a standard deviation decline in test score which represents a loss of about a quarter to a half of a year of learning on average. Additionally, it is found that this effect is likely due to the interference of work with the time kids can devote to school and school work.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7578.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7578

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Keywords: child labor; learning; proficiency; education;

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References

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  1. Bezerra, Márcio Eduardo G. & Kassouf, Ana Lucia & Arends-Kuenning, Mary P., 2009. "The Impact of Child Labor and School Quality on Academic Achievement in Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 4062, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Duryea, Suzanne & Lam, David & Levison, Deborah, 2007. "Effects of economic shocks on children's employment and schooling in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 188-214, September.
  3. Emerson, Patrick M & Souza, Andre Portela, 2003. "Is There a Child Labor Trap? Intergenerational Persistence of Child Labor in Brazil," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 375-98, January.
  4. Vladimir Ponczek & Andre Portela Souza, 2012. "New Evidence of the Causal Effect of Family Size on Child Quality in a Developing Country," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(1), pages 64-106.
  5. Heady, Christopher, 2003. "The Effect of Child Labor on Learning Achievement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 385-398, February.
  6. Victoria Gunnarsson & Peter F. Orazem & Mario A. Sánchez, 2006. "Child Labor and School Achievement in Latin America," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 31-54.
  7. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
  8. Canals-Cerda, Jose & Ridao-Cano, Cristobal, 2004. "The dynamics of school and work in rural Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3330, The World Bank.
  9. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev H. & Gatti, Roberta, 2006. "Child labor and agricultural shocks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 80-96, October.
  10. Kathleen Beegle & Rajeev Dehejia & Roberta Gatti, 2009. "Why Should We Care About Child Labor?: The Education, Labor Market, and Health Consequences of Child Labor," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
  11. Mette Ejrnæs & Claus Chr. Pörtner, 2002. "Birth Order and the Intrahousehold Allocation of Time and Education," CAM Working Papers 2002-09, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  12. Christelle Dumas, 2008. "Does work impede child's learning? The case of Senegal," THEMA Working Papers 2008-01, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  13. 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.
  14. Jerik Hanushek & Dennis Kimko, 2006. "Schooling, Labor-force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 154-193.
  15. Horowitz, Andrew W. & Wang, Jian, 2004. "Favorite son? Specialized child laborers and students in poor LDC households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 631-642, April.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Do child laborers learn less?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-10-09 15:10:00

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