The impact of child labor on schooling outcomes in Nicaragua
Child labor is considered a key obstacle to reaching the international commitments of Education For All. However, the empirical evidence on the effects of child labor on educational attainments is mostly limited to static measurements. This paper assesses the consequences of child labor on schooling outcomes over time by employing a three-year longitudinal household data set from Nicaragua. The potential endogeneity of past child labor and school outcomes is addressed through instrumental variables. The time a child dedicates to work is found to have harmful consequences on subsequent educational achievements, even after controlling for previous human capital accumulation and other factors. In particular, working over three hours a day is associated with school failure in the medium term. A distinction by type of work shows that time spent in market production has larger negative effects on school outcomes than time spent performing household chores.
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