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Child labor and the minimum wage: Evidence from India

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  • Menon, Nidhiya
  • Rodgers, Yana van der Meulen

Abstract

This study examines how changes in the minimum wage affect child labor in India. The analysis uses repeated cross sections of India's NSSO employment data from 1983 to 2008 merged with data on state-level minimum wage rates. Theoretically, the impact of the minimum wage on child work could go either way, so empirical evidence from a country with high rates of child labor and a myriad of minimum wage laws across states and industries helps to lessen the ambiguity. Results indicate that regardless of gender, in urban areas, a higher minimum wage reduces child labor in household work. In rural areas a similar result applies for girls while household labor does rise for boys. The minimum wage has virtually no impact on child work outside of the home across urban and rural areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Menon, Nidhiya & Rodgers, Yana van der Meulen, 2018. "Child labor and the minimum wage: Evidence from India," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 480-494.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:2:p:480-494
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2017.09.001
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    1. Gudibande, Rohan Ravindra & Jacob, Arun, 2020. "Minimum wages for domestic workers: impact evaluation of the Indian experience," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Minimum wage; Employment; Child labor; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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