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Food for education versus school quality: a comparison of policy options to reduce child labour


  • Saqib Jafarey
  • Sajal Lahiri


In a model in which credit markets play a crucial role, we examine two policy options for reducing child labour, `food for education' and `investment in education quality,' With an imperfectly elastic supply of credit, an increase in food subsidy is more effective in reducing child labour than an `income-equivalent' increase in expenditures in education quality. The effectiveness of the latter policy improves, and the optimal share of resources devoted to this policy increases, at the expense of food subsidies, as the supply of credit becomes more elastic.

Suggested Citation

  • Saqib Jafarey & Sajal Lahiri, 2005. "Food for education versus school quality: a comparison of policy options to reduce child labour," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(2), pages 394-419, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:38:y:2005:i:2:p:394-419

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
    2. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
    3. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    4. Basu, Kaushik, 2002. "A note on multiple general equilibria with child labor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 301-308, February.
    5. Saha, Bibhas & Sarkar, Subrata, 1999. "Schooling, Informal Experience, and Formal Sector Earnings: A Study of Indian Workers," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 187-199, June.
    6. Lahiri, Sajal & Raimondos-Moller, Pascalis & Wong, Kar-yiu & Woodland, Alan D., 2002. "Optimal foreign aid and tariffs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 79-99, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Chaudhuri, Sarbajit, 2014. "Does Public Assistance for Skills Formation Necessarily Improve Wage Inequality in the Future?," MPRA Paper 57788, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Burhan, Nik Ahmad Sufian & Sidek, Abdul Halim & Ibrahim, Saifuzzaman, 2016. "Eradicating the Crime of Child Labour in Africa: The Roles of Income, Schooling, Fertility, and Foreign Direct Investment," MPRA Paper 77250, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Burde, Dana & Linden, Leigh L., 2012. "The Effect of Village-Based Schools: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Afghanistan," IZA Discussion Papers 6531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. repec:eee:quaeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:22-31 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General


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