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Do International Labor Standards Contribute to the Persistence of the Child Labor Problem?

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Author Info

  • Fabrizio Zilibotti

    (University of Zurich)

  • Matthias Doepke

    (Northwestern University)

Abstract

In recent years, a number of governments and consumer groups in rich countries have tried to discourage the use of child labor in poor countries through measures such as product boycotts and the imposition of international labor standards. The purported objective of such measures is to reduce the incidence of child labor in developing countries and thereby improve children's welfare. In this paper, we examine the effects of such policies from a political-economy perspective. We show that these types of international action on child labor tend to lower domestic political support within developing countries for banning child labor. Hence, international labor standards and product boycotts may delay the ultimate eradication of child labor.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2009 Meeting Papers with number 157.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed009:157

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References

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  1. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1492-1524, December.
  2. Ronald B. Davies, 2000. "Abstinence from Child Labor and Profit Seeking," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2000-1, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Aug 2002.
  3. Matthias Doepke & Dirk Krueger, 2006. "Origins and Consequences of Child Labor Restrictions: A Macroeconomic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 12665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Claudia Goldin & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 1981. "Women, Children, and Industrialization in the Early Republic: Evidence from the Manufacturing Censuses," NBER Working Papers 0795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michelle Rendall, 2010. "Brain versus Brawn: The Realization of Women's Comparative Advantage," 2010 Meeting Papers 926, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Kaushik Basu, 2004. "Child labor and the Law: Notes on Possible Pathologies," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2052, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  8. Matthias Doepke & Michèle Tertilt, 2008. "Women's Liberation: What's in It for Men?," NBER Working Papers 13919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Claudia Goldin & Kenneth Sokoloff, 1981. "The Relative Productivity Hypothesis of Industrialization: The American Case, 1820 to 1850," UCLA Economics Working Papers 217, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014, November.
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  21. Kaushik Basu & Homa Zarghamee, 2008. "Product boycott a good idea for controlling child labor? A theoretical investigation," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 08-09, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
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  23. Baland, Jean-Marie & Duprez, Cédric, 2007. "Are Fair Trade Labels Effective Against Child Labour?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6259, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Edmonds, Eric V & Pavcnik, Nina, 2004. "International Trade and Child Labour: Cross-Country Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 4309, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "Das Human Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," GE, Growth, Math methods 0410003, EconWPA.
  26. 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.
  27. Ann Harrison & Jason Scorse, 2010. "Multinationals and Anti-sweatshop Activism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 247-73, March.
  28. Eric V. Edmonds & Nina Pavcnik, 2005. "Child Labor in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 199-220, Winter.
  29. Basu, Kaushik & Zarghamee, Homa, 2009. "Is product boycott a good idea for controlling child labor? A theoretical investigation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 217-220, March.
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  32. repec:fth:prinin:362 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2002. "Were Compulsory Attendance and Child Labor Laws Effective? An Analysis from 1915 to 1939," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 401-35, October.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. One more argument against banning child labor
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-08-13 14:47:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Heather Congdon Fors, 2012. "Child Labour: A Review Of Recent Theory And Evidence With Policy Implications," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 570-593, 09.
  2. Congdon Fors, Heather, 2012. "Social Globalization and Child Labor," Working Papers in Economics 533, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Irving Rosales, 2013. "Learn, sweat or steal: a theory of development and the activity of children," Working Papers 0613, Universidad Iberoamericana, Department of Economics.
  4. Michele Di Maio & Giorgio Fabbri, 2013. "Consumer boycott, household heterogeneity, and child labor," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 1609-1630, October.

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