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Child Labor in the Global Economy

  • Eric V. Edmonds
  • Nina Pavcnik

Few issues in developing countries draw as much popular attention as child labor. This paper begins by quantifying the extent and main characteristics of child labor. It then considers the evidence on a range of issues about child labor. Fundamentally, child labor is a symptom of poverty. Low income and poor institutions are driving forces behind the prevalence of child labor worldwide. This study concludes by assessing the policy options to reduce worldwide child labor.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/0895330053147895
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 19 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Pages: 199-220

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:19:y:2005:i:1:p:199-220
Note: DOI: 10.1257/0895330053147895
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  1. Eric V. Edmonds, 2007. "Child Labor," NBER Working Papers 12926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ranjan, P., 1999. ""Credit Constraints and the Phenomenon of Child Labor"," Papers 98-99-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  3. 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.
  4. Basu, Kaushik, 2003. "Policy Dilemmas for Controlling Child Labor," Working Papers 03-11, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  5. Owen A O'Donnell & Furio C. Rosati & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2004. "Health Effects of Child Work: Evidence from Rural Vietnam," CEIS Research Paper 53, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  6. Duryea, Suzanne & Lam, David & Levison, Deborah, 2007. "Effects of economic shocks on children's employment and schooling in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 188-214, September.
  7. Eric Edmonds & Nina Pavcnik, 2004. "International Trade and Child Labor: Cross-Country Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C158-75, March.
  9. Orazem, Peter & Gunnarsson, Victoria, 2004. "Child Labour, School Attendance and Performance: A Review," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11177, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Theodore W. Schultz, 1960. "Capital Formation by Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68, pages 571.
  11. Kaushik Basu, 1999. "Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
  12. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev H & Gatti, Roberta, 2004. "The Education, Labour Market and Health Consequences of Child Labour," CEPR Discussion Papers 4443, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  14. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2001. "Labor Standards: Where Do They Belong on the International Trade Agenda?," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0113, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  15. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1996. "Technical Change and Human-Capital Returns and Investments: Evidence from the Green Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 931-53, September.
  16. Eric V. Edmonds, 2005. "Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  17. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev H & Gatti, Roberta, 2005. "Child Labour, Crop Shocks and Credit Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 4881, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Eric V. Edmonds, 2004. "Does Illiquidity Alter Child Labor and Schooling Decisions? Evidence from Household Responses to Anticipated Cash Transfers in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 10265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence Katz, 2003. "Mass Secondary Schooling and the State," NBER Working Papers 10075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Levison, Deborah & Moe, Karine S. & Marie Knaul, Felicia, 2001. "Youth Education and Work in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 167-188, January.
  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.
  23. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2003. "Halving Global Poverty," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
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