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The Determinants of Child Labor: The Role of Primary Product Specialization

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  • Leonardo Becchetti

    ()
    (University of Rome II - Faculty of Economics)

  • Giovanni Trovato

    ()
    (University of Rome II - Faculty of Economics)

Abstract

The paper tests predictions of a traditional intra-household bargaining model which, under reasonable assumptions, shows that lack of bargaining power in the value chain significantly reduces the capacity of obtaining benefits from increased product demand arising from trade liberalization and therefore is positively associated with child labor. Cross-sectional and panel negative binomial estimates in a sample of emerging countries support this hypothesis showing that proxies of the labor force bargaining power in the international division of labor (such as the share of primary product exports) are significantly related to child labor, net of the effect of traditional controls such as parental income, the quality of education, international aid and trade liberalization. The positive impact of the share of primary product exports on child labor outlines a potential paradox. The paradox suggests that trade liberalisation has not always straightforward positive effects on social indicators and that its short run effects on income distribution and distribution of skills and market power across countries need to be carefully evaluated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 59.

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Length: 39
Date of creation: 13 Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:59

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Postal: CEIS - Centre for Economic and International Studies - Faculty of Economics - University of Rome "Tor Vergata" - Via Columbia, 2 00133 Roma
Phone: +390672595601
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Web page: http://www.ceistorvergata.it
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Postal: CEIS - Centre for Economic and International Studies - Faculty of Economics - University of Rome "Tor Vergata" - Via Columbia, 2 00133 Roma
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Web: http://www.ceistorvergata.it

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Keywords: child labor; distribution and growth; trade liberalisation;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Ray, R., 1998. "Analysis of Child Labour in Peru and Pakistan: a Comparative Study," Papers 1998-05, Tasmania - Department of Economics.
  3. Carol Ann Rogers & Kenneth A. Swinnerton, 1999. "The Economics of Child Labor: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1382-1385, December.
  4. Wacziarg, Romain & Seddon, Jessica, 2000. "Trade Liberalization and Intersectoral Labor Movements," Research Papers 1652, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  5. Zadia M. Feliciano, 2001. "Workers and trade liberalization: The impact of trade reforms in Mexico on wages and employment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, October.
  6. Ranjan, Priya, 1999. "An economic analysis of child labor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 99-105, July.
  7. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio Camillo & Tzannatos, Zafiris, 2001. "Child labor, nutrition, and education in rural India : an economic analysis of parental choice and policy options," Social Protection Discussion Papers 24081, The World Bank.
  8. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to Cross-National Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Attanasio, Orazio & Goldberg, Pinelopi K. & Pavcnik, Nina, 2004. "Trade reforms and wage inequality in Colombia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 331-366, August.
  10. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Robert C. Shelburne, 2001. "An Explanation of the International Variation in the Prevalence of Child Labour," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 359-378, 03.
  12. Sachs, Jeffrey D & Warner, Andrew M, 1997. "Fundamental," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 184-88, May.
  13. Revenga, Ana, 1997. "Employment and Wage Effects of Trade Liberalization: The Case of Mexican Manufacturing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages S20-43, July.
  14. Dani Rodrik, 1997. "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 57.
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Cited by:
  1. Becchetti, Leonardo & Costantino, Marco, 2008. "The Effects of Fair Trade on Affiliated Producers: An Impact Analysis on Kenyan Farmers," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 823-842, May.

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