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Child Labor And The Education Of A Society

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  • Bell, Clive
  • Gersbach, Hans

Abstract

We examine economic growth, inequality and education when the wellspring of growth is the formation of human capital through a combination of the quality of child-rearing and formal schooling. The existence of multiple steady states is established, including a poverty trap, wherein children work full-time and no human capital accumulation takes place, with continuous growth at an asymptotically steady rate as an alternative. We show that a society can escape from the poverty trap into a condition of continuous growth through a program of taxes and transfers. Temporary inequality is a necessary condition to escape in finite time, but long-run inequalities are avoidable provided sufficiently heavy, but temporary taxes can be imposed on the better-off. Programs aiming simply at high attendance rates in the present can be strongly non-optimal.
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  • Bell, Clive & Gersbach, Hans, 2009. "Child Labor And The Education Of A Society," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 220-249, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:13:y:2009:i:02:p:220-249_08
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2010. "Do international labor standards contribute to the persistence of the child-labor problem?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 1-31, March.
    2. Bell, Clive & Gersbach, Hans, 2013. "Growth and enduring epidemic diseases," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 2083-2103.
    3. Chakraborty, Bidisha & Chakraborty, Kamalika, 2016. "Low Level Equilibrium Trap, Unemployment, School Quality, Child Labour and Human Capital Formation," MPRA Paper 74621, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Pierre-Richard Agénor & Baris Alpaslan, 2013. "Child Labor, Intra-Household Bargaining and Economic Growth," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 181, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    5. Clive Bell & Shantayanan Devarajan & Hans Gersbach, 2003. "The long-run economic costs of AIDS : theory and an application to South Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3152, The World Bank.
    6. Bell, Clive & Gersbach, Hans, 2009. "The macroeconomics of targeting: the case of an enduring epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 54-72, January.
    7. Patrick M. Emerson & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "Bargaining over Sons and Daughters: Child Labor, School Attendance and Intra-Household Gender Bias in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0213, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    8. Patrick M. Emerson & Shawn D. Knabb, 2007. "Fiscal Policy, Expectation Traps, And Child Labor," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(3), pages 453-469, July.
    9. Bell, Clive & Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik T., 2012. "Raising juveniles," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 32-51.
    10. Hans Gersbach & Lars-H. Siemers, 2014. "Can democracy induce development? A constitutional perspective," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 177-196, April.
    11. Emerson, Patrick M. & Portela Souza, Andre, 2005. "The inter-generational persistence of child labor," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 32746, The World Bank.
    12. Bell, Clive & Gersbach, Hans, 2009. "Child Labor And The Education Of A Society," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 220-249, April.
    13. Gersbach, Hans & Siemers, Lars, 2005. "Can Democracy Educate a Society?," IZA Discussion Papers 1693, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Gersbach, Hans & Siemers, Lars-H. R., 2010. "Land Reforms And Economic Development," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(04), pages 527-547, September.
    15. Alessandro Maffei & Nikolai Raabe & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2006. "Political Repression and Child Labour: Theory and Empirical Evidence," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(2), pages 211-239, February.
    16. Ramona Schrepler, 2003. "Child Labor and Fertility," HEW 0310001, EconWPA, revised 26 Feb 2004.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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