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Child Labor and Household Wealth : Theory and Empirical Evidence of an Inverted-U

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  • Basu, Kaushik

    (Department of Economics, Cornell University and Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)

  • Das, Sanghamitra

    (Indian Statistical Institute)

  • Dutta, Bhaskar

    (Department of Economics, Warwick University)

Abstract

Some studies on child labor have shown that, at the level of the household, greater land wealth leads to higher child labor, thereby casting doubt on the hypothesis that child labor is caused by poverty. This paper argues that the missing ingredient may be an explicit modeling of the labor market. We develop a simple model which suggests the possibility of an inverted-U relationship between land holdings and child labor. Using a unique data set that has child labor hours it is found that, controlling for child, household and village characteristics, the turning point beyond which more land leads to a decline in child labor occurs around 4 acres of land per household.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 888.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:888

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Keywords: child labor ; land-holding ; labor markets;

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  1. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  2. 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.
  3. Patrick M. Emerson & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "Is There a Child Labor Trap? Inter-Generational Persistence of Child Labor in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0214, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
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  8. Baland, J.M. & Robinson, J.A., 1998. "A Model of Child Labor," Papers 206, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
  9. Bardhan, Pranab & Udry, Christopher, 1999. "Development Microeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773719, Octomber.
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  14. 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.
  15. Chernichovsky, Dov, 1985. "Socioeconomic and Demographic Aspects of School Enrollment and Attendance in Rural Botswana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 319-32, January.
  16. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1994. "A Test for Moral Hazard in the Labor Market: Contractual Arrangements, Effort, and Health," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 213-27, May.
  17. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1492-1524, December.
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  19. Edmonds, Eric & Turk, Carrie, 2002. "Child labor in transition in Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2774, The World Bank.
  20. Mueller, Eva, 1984. "The value and allocation of time in rural Botswana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-3), pages 329-360.
  21. Foster, Andrew D. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 2004. "Technological change and the distribution of schooling: evidence from green-revolution India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 87-111, June.
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