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The effect of FDI on child labor

  • Davies, Ronald B.
  • Voy, Annie

This paper examines the effect of FDI on child labor. Using 1995 data for 145 countries, we find that, contrary to common fears, FDI is negatively correlated with child labor. This effect disappears when controlling for per capita income. After doing so, we find no robust effect of either FDI or international trade on child labor. This result is robust to corrections for the endogeneity of FDI, trade, and income. Furthermore, this result is confirmed using data from earlier years. This suggests that the impact of FDI and trade on child labor, if any, is the increases in income they generate.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 59-66

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:88:y:2009:i:1:p:59-66
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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  1. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  2. Bruce Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(4), pages 383-403, December.
  3. Ronald B. Davies, 2002. "Hunting High and Low for Vertical FDI," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-12, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Aug 2002.
  4. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C. & Guarcello, Lorenzo, 2002. "Does Globalization Increase Child Labor?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1579-1589, September.
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  9. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies, 2004. "The Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties on U.S. FDI Activity," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(5), pages 601-622, 09.
  10. Eric Neumayer & Indra de Soysa, 2003. "Trade Openness, Foreign Direct Investment and Child Labor," International Trade 0312001, EconWPA, revised 16 Mar 2004.
  11. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment Updates and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  13. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Frankel, Jeffrey & Rose, Andrew K., 2001. "An Estimate of the Effect of Common Currencies on Trade and Income," Working Paper Series rwp01-013, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  15. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  16. Martin Shubik, 2001. "On Understanding Money," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(1), pages 95-120, January.
  17. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Davies, Ronald B. & Waddell, Glen R. & Naughton, Helen T., 2007. "FDI in space: Spatial autoregressive relationships in foreign direct investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1303-1325, July.
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