A Theory of the Worst Forms of Child Labour
Although intuitive and morally compelling, a ban on the worst forms of child labour in poor countries is unlikely to be welfare improving. We show that harmful forms of child labour have an economic role: by maintaining wages for child labour high enough, they allow human capital accumulation in poor countries. Unless appropriate mechanisms are designed to mitigate the decline in child labour wages caused by reduced employment options for children, a ban on harmful forms of child labour will likely prove undesirable. We perform our analysis within a simple model of parental investment in children's education. Copyright 2005 Royal Economic Society.
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Volume (Year): 115 (2005)
Issue (Month): 500 (January)
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