IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/deveco/v88y2009i2p217-220.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Is product boycott a good idea for controlling child labor? A theoretical investigation

Author

Listed:
  • Basu, Kaushik
  • Zarghamee, Homa

Abstract

A popular form of action to curb child labor and uphold international labor standards in general is a 'product boycott' by consumers. There are labeling agencies that inform us if, for instance, a carpet or a hand-stitched soccer ball is free of child labor. The presence of a consumer boycott will typically mean that products tainted by child labor will command a lower price on the market than ones certified to be untainted. It is popularly presumed that such consumer activism is desirable. The paper formally investigates this presumption and shows that consumer product boycotts can, in a wide class of situations, have an adverse reaction that causes child labor to rise rather than fall. This happens under weak and plausible assumptions. Hence, there has to be much greater caution in the use of consumer activism, and one has to have much more detailed information about the context where child labor occurs, before using a boycott.

Suggested Citation

  • Basu, Kaushik & Zarghamee, Homa, 2009. "Is product boycott a good idea for controlling child labor? A theoretical investigation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 217-220, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:88:y:2009:i:2:p:217-220
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304-3878(08)00085-0
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
    2. Eric V. Edmonds & Nina Pavcnik, 2005. "Child Labor in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 199-220, Winter.
    3. Basu, Kaushik, 2005. "Child labor and the law: Notes on possible pathologies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 169-174, May.
    4. Davies, Ronald B., 2005. "Abstinence from child labor and profit seeking," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 251-263, February.
    5. Dirk Krueger & Jessica Tjornhom Donohue, 2005. "On The Distributional Consequences Of Child Labor Legislation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(3), pages 785-815, August.
    6. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1492-1524, December.
    7. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
    8. Baland, Jean-Marie & Duprez, Cédric, 2007. "Are Fair Trade Labels Effective Against Child Labour?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6259, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Jafarey, Saqib & Lahiri, Sajal, 2002. "Will trade sanctions reduce child labour?: The role of credit markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 137-156, June.
    10. Harald Grossmann & Jochen Michaelis, 2007. "Trade Sanctions and the Incidence of Child Labor," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(1), pages 49-62, February.
    11. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
    12. Arnab K. Basu & Nancy H. Chau & Ulrike Grote, 2006. "Guaranteed Manufactured without Child Labor: The Economics of Consumer Boycotts, Social Labeling and Trade Sanctions," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 466-491, August.
    13. Carol Ann Rogers & Kenneth A. Swinnerton, 1999. "The Economics of Child Labor: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1382-1385, December.
    14. Sylvain E. Dessy & Stéphane Pallage, 2005. "A Theory of the Worst Forms of Child Labour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 68-87, January.
    15. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. Elias Dinopoulos & Laixun Zhao, 2007. "Child Labor and Globalization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 553-579.
    17. Uma Kambhampati, 2004. "Does Child Work Decrease with Parental Income?: The Luxury Axiom Revisited in India," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2004-02, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    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. Hyejin Ku, 2014. "Fair Trade in the Fields of Florida: The Impact of the Penny-Per-Pound on Tomato Pickers," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1416, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    3. Fabre, Alice & Pallage, Stéphane, 2015. "Child labor, idiosyncratic shocks, and social policy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 394-411.
    4. Irving Rosales, 2013. "Learn, sweat or steal: a theory of development and the activity of children," Working Papers 0613, Universidad Iberoamericana, Department of Economics.
    5. Francisco Gonzalez & Irving Rosales, 2016. "The case against child labor bans," Working Papers 1601, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2016.
    6. Doepke, Matthias, 2013. "Exploitation, Altruism, and Social Welfare: An Economic Exploration," CEPR Discussion Papers 9509, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Olarreaga, Marcelo & Piacentini, Mario & Nguyen, Cuong, 2010. "Child Labor and FDI: Evidence from Vietnam," MPRA Paper 72804, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Michele Di Maio & Giorgio Fabbri, 2013. "Consumer boycott, household heterogeneity, and child labor," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1609-1630, October.
    9. Heather Congdon Fors, 2012. "Child Labour: A Review Of Recent Theory And Evidence With Policy Implications," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 570-593, September.
    10. Moana S. Simas & Laura Golsteijn & Mark A. J. Huijbregts & Richard Wood & Edgar G. Hertwich, 2014. "The “Bad Labor” Footprint: Quantifying the Social Impacts of Globalization," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(11), pages 1-27, October.
    11. Stéphane Pallage & Alice Fabre, 2010. "Child Labor and Aggregate Fluctuations," 2010 Meeting Papers 1037, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Heather Congdon Fors, 2014. "Social Globalization and Child Labor: A Cross-country Analysis," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 52(2), pages 125-153, June.
    13. Philippe Delacote, 2009. "Boycotting a dictatorship: who does it really hurt?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(3), pages 1856-1862.
    14. Eugenia Fotoniata & Thomas Moutos, 2013. "Product Quality, Informality, and Child Labor," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 268-283, May.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:88:y:2009:i:2:p:217-220. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.