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Child labor and the law: Notes on possible pathologies


  • Basu, Kaushik


The paper demonstrates that the standard policy for controlling child labor imposing a fine on firms caught employing children can cause child labor to rise. This pathological’ reaction is, however, reversed as the size of the fine increases.
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  • Basu, Kaushik, 2005. "Child labor and the law: Notes on possible pathologies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 169-174, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:87:y:2005:i:2:p:169-174

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Carol Ann Rogers & Kenneth A. Swinnerton, 2004. "Does Child Labor Decrease When Parental Incomes Rise?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 939-968, August.
    3. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2003. "Voting with Your Children: A Positive Analysis of Child Labor Laws," UCLA Economics Working Papers 828, UCLA Department of Economics.
    4. Sonia Bhalotra & Christopher Heady, 2003. "Child Farm Labor: The Wealth Paradox," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 197-227, December.
    5. Eric V. Edmonds, 2005. "Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
    6. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
    7. Emerson, Patrick M & Souza, Andre Portela, 2003. "Is There a Child Labor Trap? Intergenerational Persistence of Child Labor in Brazil," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 375-398, January.
    8. 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.
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    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. Irving Rosales, 2013. "Learn, sweat or steal: a theory of development and the activity of children," Working Papers 0613, Universidad Iberoamericana, Department of Economics.
    3. Sonja Fagernäs, 2011. "Protection through Proof of Age. Birth Registration and Child Labor in Early 20th Century USA," Working Paper Series 2311, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    4. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Olivier Bargain & Delphine Boutin, 2017. "Minimum Age Regulation and Child Labor: New Evidence from Brazil," Working Papers hal-01629988, HAL.
    6. 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.
    7. Kaletski, Elizabeth & Prakash, Nishith, 2016. "Does Political Reservation for Minorities Affect Child Labor? Evidence from India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 50-69.
    8. Kaushik Basu & Homa Zarghamee, 2008. "Product boycott a good idea for controlling child labor? A theoretical investigation," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 08-09, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
    9. Eugenia Fotoniata & Thomas Moutos, 2013. "Product Quality, Informality, and Child Labor," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 268-283, May.
    10. BHARADWAJ, Prachant & LAKDAWALA, Leah K. & LI, Nicholas, 2016. "Perverse Consequences Of Well-Intentioned Regulation: Evidence From India’S Child Labor Ban," Discussion paper series HIAS-E-25, Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Hitotsubashi University.
    11. Eric V. Edmonds, 2014. "Does minimum age of employment regulation reduce child labor?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-73, July.
    12. Piza, Caio & Souza, André Portela Fernandes de, 2016. "Short and long-term effects of a child-labor ban," Textos para discussão 428, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    13. Kouki Sugawara, 2011. "The worst forms of child labour: dynamic model and policy implication," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(2), pages 1910-1921.
    14. Maurer, Rainer, 2015. "Auf dem Weg zur weltanschaulichen Bekenntnisschule: Das wirtschaftspolitische Leitbild der Hochschule Pforzheim," Beiträge der Hochschule Pforzheim 152, Pforzheim University.
    15. Basu, Kaushik & Zarghamee, Homa, 2005. "Is Product Boycott a Good Idea for Controlling Child Labor?," Working Papers 05-14, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
    16. Francisco Gonzalez & Irving Rosales, 2016. "The case against child labor bans," Working Papers 1601, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2016.
    17. Prashant Bharadwaj & Leah K. Lakdawala & Nicholas Li, 2013. "Perverse Consequences of Well Intentioned Regulation: Evidence from India's Child Labor Ban," NBER Working Papers 19602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Wendy Olsen, 2007. "Pluralist methodology for development economics: the example of moral economy of Indian labour markets," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 57-82.

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