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The Intriguing Relation between Adult Minimum Wage and Child Labour

  • Basu, Kaushik

Because most parents send their children to work when compelled by poverty, one would expect a rise in adult wage to lower child labour. However, if the rise in wage is achieved by a minimum wage law, its impact can be intriguing. It can, for instance, cause some adults to be unemployed and send their children to work, which in turn displaces more adult labour and sends more children to work. The paper solves this process and predicts the incidence of child labour. It shows that, for appropriate parametric configurations, child labour may fall or rise as the adult minimum wage is raised.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 110 (2000)
Issue (Month): 462 (March)
Pages: C50-61

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:110:y:2000:i:462:p:c50-61
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  1. Ray, Ranjan, 2000. "Child Labor, Child Schooling, and Their Interaction with Adult Labor: Empirical Evidence for Peru and Pakistan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 347-67, May.
  2. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1980. "Unemployment as Disequilibrium in a Model of Aggregate Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 547-64, April.
  3. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  4. Layard, R & Barton, M & Zabalza, A, 1980. "Married Women's Participation and Hours," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(185), pages 51-72, February.
  5. 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.
  6. Maskus, Keith E., 1997. "Should core labor standards be imposed through international trade policy?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1817, The World Bank.
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