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Child Labor and the Labor Supply of Other Household Members: Evidence from 1920 America

  • Marco Manacorda

This paper exploits the variation in the legal minimum working age across states in 1920 America in order to identify households' labor supply responses to exogenous changes in children's labor force participation. Using micro data on urban households from the U.S. Census, I find evidence that as a child moves to the labor market his siblings are less likely to work and more likely to attend school. I find no significant effect on parents' labor supply. (JEL J13, J22, K31, N32)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.96.5.1788
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec06/20031208_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 96 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1788-1801

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:5:p:1788-1801
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.5.1788
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  1. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, October.
  2. Goldin, Claudia & Katz, Lawrence, 2000. "Education and Income in the Early 20th Century: Evidence from the Prairies," Scholarly Articles 2624456, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  10. Goldin, Claudia & Katz, Lawrence F, 1996. "Technology, Skill, and the Wage Structure: Insights from the Past," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 252-57, May.
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  12. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762.
  13. Thomas, D., 1995. "Like Father, Like Son, Like Mother, Like Daughter, Parental Resources and Child Height," Papers 95-01, RAND - Reprint Series.
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  19. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
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  22. Moehling, Carolyn M., 1999. "State Child Labor Laws and the Decline of Child Labor," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 72-106, January.
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  25. Goldin, Claudia, 1999. "Egalitarianism and the Returns to Education during the Great Transformation of American Education," Scholarly Articles 2623652, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  27. Sanderson, Allen R., 1974. "Child-Labor Legislation and the Labor Force Participation of Children," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(01), pages 297-299, March.
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  29. 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.
  30. Cullen, Julie Berry & Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Out Spousal Labor Supply?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 546-72, July.
  31. Michael A. Boozer & Alan B. Krueger & Shari Wolkon, 1992. "Race and School Quality Since Brown vs. Board of Education," NBER Working Papers 4109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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