Is product boycott a good idea for controlling child labor? A theoretical investigation
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.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Basu, Kaushik, 2005.
"Child labor and the law: Notes on possible pathologies,"
Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 169-174, May.
- Kaushik Basu, 2004. "Child labor and the Law: Notes on Possible Pathologies," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2052, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- 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, 08.
- Dirk Krueger & Jessica Tjornhom Donohue, 2004. "On the Distributional Consequences of Child Labor Legislation," NBER Working Papers 10347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dirk Krueger & Jessica Tjornhom Donohue, 2007. "On The Distributional Consequences Of Child Labor Legislation," Working Papers id:975, eSocialSciences.
- Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
- Ranjan, P., 1999. ""Credit Constraints and the Phenomenon of Child Labor"," Papers 98-99-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
- Baland, Jean-Marie & Duprez, Cédric, 2007. "Are Fair Trade Labels Effective Against Child Labour?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6259, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jean Marie Baland & Cedric Duprez, 2008. "Are Fair Trade Labels Effective Against Child Labor?," Working Papers id:1559, eSocialSciences.
- 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.
- Jafarey, Saqib & Lahiri, Sajal, 1999. "Will trade sanctions reduce child labour? The role of credit markets," Economics Discussion Papers 10004, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
- Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1492-1524, December.
- Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The macroeconomics of child labor regulation," Staff Report 354, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- 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.
- E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- repec:esx:essedp:500 is not listed on IDEAS
- Elias Dinopoulos & Laixun Zhao, 2007. "Child Labor and Globalization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 553-579.
- Elias Dinopoulos & Laixun Zhao, 2006. "Child Labor and Globalization," Discussion Paper Series 198, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
- Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
- Davies, Ronald B., 2005. "Abstinence from child labor and profit seeking," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 251-263, February.
- Ronald B. Davies, 2000. "Abstinence from Child Labor and Profit Seeking," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2000-1, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Aug 2002.
- 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, 02.
- 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, 08.
- 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.
- Kenneth A. Swinnerton & Carol Ann Rogers, 1999. "The Economics of Child Labor: Comment," Labor and Demography 9903002, EconWPA.
- 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, 01.
- 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)