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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. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1995. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 65, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, August.
  3. Orley Ashenfelter, 1977. "Unemployment as Disequilibrium in a Model of Aggregate Labor Supply," Working Papers 484, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  5. Duncan Thomas, 1994. "Like Father, like Son; Like Mother, like Daughter: Parental Resources and Child Height," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 950-988.
  6. Claudia Goldin & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 1981. "Women, Children, and Industrialization in the Early Republic: Evidence from the Manufacturing Censuses," NBER Working Papers 0795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Thomas, D., 1989. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Papers 586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  8. Margo, Robert A. & Aldrich Finegan, T., 1996. "Compulsory schooling legislation and school attendance in turn-of-the century America: A 'natural experiment' approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 103-110, October.
  9. Alan Krueger, 1996. "Observations on International Labor Standards and Trade," Working Papers 741, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  10. 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.
  11. Orley Ashenfelter & James Heckman, 1971. "The Estimation of Income and Substitution Effects in a Model of Family Labor Supply," Working Papers 402, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. Lundberg, Shelly, 1985. "The Added Worker Effect," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 11-37, January.
  13. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "School Quality and Black-White Relative Earnings: A Direct Assessment," NBER Working Papers 3713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-67, June.
  15. Goldin, Claudia, 1999. "Egalitarianism and the Returns to Education during the Great Transformation of American Education," Scholarly Articles 2623652, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. 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.
  17. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "The Origins of Technology-Skill Complementarity," NBER Working Papers 5657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  20. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," NBER Working Papers 3572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. Landes, William M. & Solmon, Lewis C., 1972. "Compulsory Schooling Legislation: An Economic Analysis of Law and Social Change in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(01), pages 54-91, March.
  23. Melvin Stephens, 2002. "Worker Displacement and the Added Worker Effect," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 504-537, July.
  24. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521296762 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1999. "Education and Income in the Early 20th Century: Evidence from the Prairies," NBER Working Papers 7217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The macroeconomics of child labor regulation," Staff Report 354, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "Why the United States Led in Education: Lessons from Secondary School Expansion, 1910 to 1940," NBER Working Papers 6144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Rajeev Dehejia & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2003. "Why Does Financial Development Matter? The United States from 1900 to 1940," NBER Working Papers 9551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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.
  32. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 2001. "How Large are Human-Capital Externalities? Evidence from Compulsory-Schooling Laws," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 9-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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