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Income Contributions of Child Work in Rural Ethiopia

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  • John Cockburn

Abstract

The income contribution of child work is undoubtedly a key factor influencing child work and schooling decisions. Yet, few studies have attempted to directly measure this contribution. This is particularly the case for work performed on the household farm, as is the case for the vast majority of child workers, rather than for wages. In this study, we estimate a household income function with child labour included as an input. Results using a variety of functional forms and alternative child labour variables are compared. We conclude that children and adults are perfect labour substitutes and that the marginal productivity of children is roughly one-third to one-half that of male adults. The average contribution of each working child is estimated at 4 to 7% of household income, although there is substantial variation with contributions ranging up to 50%. These results underline the dependency of poor households on child work for survival.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/2002-12.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2002
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/2002-12

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Keywords: child labour; schooling; Ethiopia; household production;

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  1. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
  2. Gronau, Reuben, 1987. "Home production -- A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 273-304 Elsevier.
  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. Sharada Weir & John Knight, 2000. "Education externalities in rural Ethiopia: evidence from average and stochastic frontier production functions," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-04, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  5. Jacoby, H.G., 1990. "Shadow Wages And Peasant Family Labor Supply; An Econometric Application To The Peruvian Sierra," Papers 73, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
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  7. Diewert, W E, 1971. "An Application of the Shephard Duality Theorem: A Generalized Leontief Production Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 481-507, May-June.
  8. Hoddinott, John, 1992. "Rotten Kids or Manipulative Parents: Are Children Old Age Security in Western Kenya?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(3), pages 545-65, April.
  9. John Bound & David A. Jaeger & Regina Baker, 1993. "The Cure Can Be Worse than the Disease: A Cautionary Tale Regarding Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Christopher B. Barrett & Shane M. Sherlund & Akinwumi A. Adesina, 2008. "Shadow wages, allocative inefficiency, and labor supply in smallholder agriculture," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 38(1), pages 21-34, 01.
  11. Serge Lambert & Thierry Magnac, 1997. "Implicit Prices and Recursivity of Agricultural Household's Decisions," Working Papers 97-31, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  12. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Evenson, Robert E, 1977. "Fertility, Schooling, and the Economic Contribution of Children in Rural India: An Econometric Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1065-79, July.
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  14. MaCurdy, Thomas E & Pencavel, John H, 1986. "Testing between Competing Models of Wage and Employment Determination in Unionized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S3-S39, June.
  15. Gronau, Reuben, 1997. "The Theory of Home Production: The Past Ten Years," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 197-205, April.
  16. Magnac, T. & Lambert, S., 1992. "Recursive or Non Recursive Agricultural Household Decision Making; An Application to Cote d'Ivoire," DELTA Working Papers 92-20, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  17. De Vos, Susan, 1985. "An Old-Age Security Incentive for Children in the Philippines and Taiwan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 793-814, July.
  18. Mueller, Eva, 1984. "The value and allocation of time in rural Botswana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-3), pages 329-360.
  19. repec:fth:oxesaf:2000-4 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Croppenstedt, Andre & Muller, Christophe, 2000. "The Impact of Farmers' Health and Nutritional Status on Their Productivity and Efficiency: Evidence from Ethiopia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(3), pages 475-502, April.
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  22. Sonia Bhalotra, 2003. "Child Labour in Africa," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 4, OECD Publishing.
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Cited by:
  1. Nicola Jones & Andy Sumner, 2009. "Does Mixed Methods Research Matter to Understanding Childhood Well-Being?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 90(1), pages 33-50, January.
  2. Lei Pan, 2007. "Risk Pooling through Transfers in Rural Ethiopia," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-014/2, Tinbergen Institute, revised 28 Sep 2007.
  3. Lei Pan, 2009. "Risk Pooling through Transfers in Rural Ethiopia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 809-835, 07.
  4. L.Guarcello & S.Lyon & F.Rosati, 2006. "The Twin Challenges of Child labour and Youth Employment in Ethiopia," UCW Working Paper 18, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).

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