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Child labor, income shocks, and access to credit

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Author Info

  • Dehejia, Rajeev H.
  • Beegle, Kathleen
  • Gatti, Roberta

Abstract

Although a growing theoretical literature points to credit constraints asan important source of inefficiently high child labor, little work has been done to assess its empirical relevance. Using panel data from Tanzania, the authors find that households respond to transitory income shocks by increasing child labor, but that the extent to which child labor is used as a buffer is lower when households have access to credit. These findings contribute to the empirical literature on the permanent income hypothesis by showing that credit-constrained households actively use child labor to smooth their income. Moreover, they highlight a potentially important determinant of child labor and, as a result, a mechanism that can be used to tackle it.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3075.

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Date of creation: 30 May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3075

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Related research

Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies; Labor Policies; Children and Youth; Economic Theory&Research; Health Economics&Finance; Health Economics&Finance; Street Children; Environmental Economics&Policies; Youth and Governance; Children and Youth;

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References

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  1. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 1999. "Does child labor displace schooling? - evidence on behavioral responses to an enrollment subsidy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2116, The World Bank.
  2. Kathleen Burke & Kathleen Beegle, 2004. "Why Children Aren't Attending School: The Case of Northwestern Tanzania," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 13(2), pages 333-355, June.
  3. Jacoby, Hanan G & Skoufias, Emmanuel, 1997. "Risk, Financial Markets, and Human Capital in a Developing Country," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 311-35, July.
  4. Bhalotra, Sonia & Heady, Christopher, 2001. "Child farm labour : the wealth paradox," Social Protection Discussion Papers 24088, The World Bank.
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  7. Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 1999. "Child labor and schooling in Africa : a comparative study," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20456, The World Bank.
  8. Morduch, J., 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Papers 512, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  9. 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, vol. 27(4), pages 637-59, October.
  10. Al-Samarrai, Samer & Peasgood, Tessa, 1998. "Educational attainments and household characteristics in Tanzania," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 395-417, October.
  11. Morduch, J., 1995. "Poverty and Vulnerability," Papers 477, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  12. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "The Family and the State," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-18, April.
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  16. Robert M. Townsend, . "Risk and Insurance in Village India," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 91-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  17. Rajeev Dehejia & Roberta Gatti, 2002. "Child Labor: The Role of Income Variability and Access to Credit Across Countries," NBER Working Papers 9018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. repec:fth:prinin:362 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Jacoby, Hanan G, 1994. "Borrowing Constraints and Progress through School: Evidence from Peru," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 151-60, February.
  20. Blunch, Niels-Hugo & Verner, Dorte, 2000. "Revisiting the link between poverty and child labor - the Ghanaian experience," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2488, The World Bank.
  21. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
  22. Morduch, Jonathan, 1999. "Between the State and the Market: Can Informal Insurance Patch the Safety Net?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 187-207, August.
  23. Gupta, Manash Ranjan, 2000. "Wage Determination of a Child Worker: A Theoretical Analysis," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 219-28, June.
  24. Antoine Bommier & Sylvie Lambert, 2000. "Education Demand and Age at School Enrollment in Tanzania," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 177-203.
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