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Some Surprising Effects of Better Law Enforcement Against Child Trafficking


  • Sylvain E. Dessy

    () (Departement d' Economique, Universite Laval, Sainte-Foy)

  • Stephane Pallage

    () (Departement des Sciences Economiques and CIRPEE, Universite du Queebec a Montr)


In this note, we highlight some economic effects of the existence of child trafficking. We show that the risk of child trafficking on the labor market acts as a deterrent to supply child labor, unless household survival is at stake. Better law enforcement against child trafficking, by raising the expected gains parents derive from sending their children to work, might have the undesirable effect of causing a rise in the number of child laborers and possibly in the incidence of child trafficking. Our findings support the view that the fight against child trafficking can only be won by effectively combining legislation with other policy measures, including better quality for education, redistribution, or appropri- ately targeted poverty alleviation programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvain E. Dessy & Stephane Pallage, 2006. "Some Surprising Effects of Better Law Enforcement Against Child Trafficking," Journal of African Development, African Finance and Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 115-132.
  • Handle: RePEc:afe:journl:v:8:y:2006:i:1:p:115-132

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    Cited by:

    1. Omar Mahmoud, Toman & Trebesch, Christoph, 2010. "The economics of human trafficking and labour migration: Micro-evidence from Eastern Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 173-188, June.
    2. Omar Mahmoud, Toman, 2010. "Shocks, income diversification and welfare in developing and transition countries," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 59754, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Omar Mahmoud, Toman & Trebesch, Christoph, 2009. "The economic drivers of human trafficking: micro-evidence from five Eastern European countries," Kiel Working Papers 1480, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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    Child labor; poverty; law enforcement; trafficking;


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