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The impact of FDI on child labor: Insights from an empirical analysis of sectoral FDI data and case studies

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  • Doytch, Nadia
  • Thelen, Nina
  • Mendoza, Ronald U.

Abstract

Not all foreign direct investment (FDI) is alike as far as its impact on various dimensions of human development is concerned. This paper focuses, in particular, on child labor and it undertakes a cross-country empirical analysis of this issue, using data on 100 countries spanning the period 1990–2009. Unlike earlier studies that focus mostly on total FDI, we also utilize data on disaggregated FDI, covering the main economic sectors of interest such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, services, and finance. The empirical results suggest that different economic sectors generate varied effects on child labor. For instance, FDI in agriculture in Europe and Central Asia tends to exacerbate child labor, whereas FDI in manufacturing in South and East Asia and FDI in mining in Latin America appear negatively linked to child labor. Furthermore, signing on to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is positively associated with child labor. One possible explanation for the latter result is that stronger anti-child labor laws could lead to multiple equilibria in labor markets, including the possibility of increasing child labor in certain sectors. Selected case studies help clarify the possible reasons behind this varied FDI impact on child labor, emphasizing among other factors supply chain management and the critical importance of policy implementation and coordination with the private sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Doytch, Nadia & Thelen, Nina & Mendoza, Ronald U., 2014. "The impact of FDI on child labor: Insights from an empirical analysis of sectoral FDI data and case studies," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(P2), pages 157-167.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:47:y:2014:i:p2:p:157-167
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.09.008
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    Cited by:

    1. Metaxas, Theodore & Kechagia, Polyxeni, 2016. "Literature review of 100 empirical studies of Foreign Direct Investment: 1950-2015," MPRA Paper 71414, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    3. Kechagia, Polyxeni & Metaxas, Theodore, 2016. "FDI in Central Asia: Uzbekistan," MPRA Paper 71326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Sumbal Shahid & Rana Ejaz Ali Khan, 2020. "Informal Sector Economy, Child Labor and Economic Growth in Developing Economies: Exploring the Interlinkages," Asian Development Policy Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 8(4), pages 277-287, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    FDI; Child labor; Income and substitution effect; UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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