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Liquidity Constraint and Child Labor In India: Is Market Really Incapable Of Eradicating It From Wage-Labor Households?

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  • Basab Dasgupta

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

One way to measure the lower steady state equilibrium outcome in human capital development is the incidence of child labor in most of the developing countries. With the help of Indian household level data in an overlapping generation framework, we show that production loans under credit rationing are not optimally extended towards firms because of issues with adverse selection. More stringent rationing in the credit market creates a distortion in the labor market by increasing adult wage rate and the demand for child labor. Lower availability of funds under stringent rationing coupled with increased demand for loans induces the high risk firms to replace adult labor by child labor. A switch of regime from credit rationing to revelation regime can clear such imperfections in the labor market. The equilibrium higher wage rate elevates the household consumption to a significantly higher level than the subsistence under credit rationing and therefore higher level of human capital development is assured leading to no supply of child labor.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2005-37.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2005-37

Note: I am really grateful to my advisors, Christian Zimmermann and Steven Ross for their guidance and valuable comments and to Prof. Samar K. Datta, IIMA, India for his help. Usual disclaimer applies.
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Keywords: Credit Rationing; Informal Credit; Child Labor; Self Revelation Mechanism;

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  1. Stephane Pallage & Christian Zimmermann, 2000. "Buying Out Child Labor?," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 123, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  2. John Fender & Ping Wang, 2001. "Educational Policy in a Credit Constrained Economy with Skill Heterogeneity," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0133, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  3. Kaushik Basu & Zafiris Tzannatos, 2003. "The Global Child Labor Problem: What Do We Know and What Can We Do?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 147-173, December.
  4. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
  5. Floro, Maria Sagrario & Ray, Debraj, 1997. "Vertical Links between Formal and Informal Financial Institutions," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 34-56, February.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist & William N. Evans, 1996. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," NBER Working Papers 5778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. de Meza, David & Webb, David C, 1987. "Too Much Investment: A Problem of Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 281-92, May.
  9. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C., 2000. "Why do Indian Children Work, and is it Bad for Them?," IZA Discussion Papers 115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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