Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Illegal Child Labor in the United States: Prevalence and Characteristics

Contents:

Author Info

  • Douglas Kruse
  • Douglas Mahony
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This study provides the first comprehensive estimates of children and youth working under conditions that violate federal and state child labor laws. Using the CPS, NLS, and other sources, it is estimated that 148,000 minors are employed illegally in an average week working too many hours or in hazardous occupations and 290,000 are employed illegally at some point during a year. The total number of hours worked illegally is about 113 million per year, for which these minors are paid over $560 million. Whites, males, and 15-year-olds are the most likely to be working in violation of child labor laws. Youths working illegally in hazardous jobs earn on average $1.38 per hour less than legal young adults in the same occupations, which combined with the savings from employing youths for excessive hours adds up to a total employer cost savings of roughly $155 million per year. In addition to raising important policy concerns about the health and well-being of these youths, the findings make a case for the development of high-quality employment data on children and youths, to improve estimates of illegal employment and study its effects.

    Download Info

    If 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.
    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6479.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6479.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: Mar 1998
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published as Kruse, Douglas L. and Douglas Mahony. "Illegal Child Labor In The United States: Prevalence And Characteristics," International Labor Relations Review, 2000, v54(1,Oct), 17-40.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6479

    Note: LS
    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:
    as in new window
    1. Richard B. Freeman & James L. Medoff, 1982. "Why Does the Rate of Youth Labor Force Activity Differ across Surveys?," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 75-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Holleran Philip M., 1993. "Child Labor and Exploitation in Turn-of-the-Century Cotton Mills," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 485-500, October.
    3. Parsons, Donald O & Goldin, Claudia, 1989. "Parental Altruism and Self-Interest: Child Labor among Late Nineteenth-Century American Families," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(4), pages 637-59, October.
    4. Kathleen Stanley, 1992. "Immigrant and Refugee Workers in the Midwestern Meatpacking Industry: Industrial Restructuring and the Transformation of Rural Labor Markets," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 11(2), pages 106-117, 06.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Kaushik Basu, 1999. "Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
    2. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M Stern, 2002. "The Effects of Multinational Production on Wages and Working Conditions in Developing Countries," Working Papers, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan 486, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    3. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2001. "U.S. Trade and Other Policy Options and Programs to Deter Foreign Exploitation of Child Labor," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Topics in Empirical International Economics: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert E. Lipsey, pages 233-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6479. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.