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Social norms, inequality and child labor

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  • Goto, Hideaki

Abstract

This paper theoretically analyzes a situation wherein adults’ decisions on child labor are affected not only by materialistic utility but also by a social norm against child labor. The adult thus faces a tradeoff; on the one hand, household income rises if she sends her child to work. On the other hand, the adult suffers disutility from violating the social norm in so doing. We also suppose that the extent of disutility falls as more other adults have their children work. We then explore how the total amount of child labor in an economy changes as adults’ labor efficiencies rise or become more unequal. Our analysis reveals that a more equal distribution or rises in adults’ labor efficiency help decrease child labor only under certain conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Goto, Hideaki, 2011. "Social norms, inequality and child labor," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 806-814.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:6:p:806-814
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2011.08.026
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sahana Roy Chowdhury, 2015. "Recession and Child Labor: A Theoretical Analysis," Working Papers id:7127, eSocialSciences.
    2. Sari, Nazmi, 2013. "On anti-smoking regulations and tobacco consumption," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 60-67.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child labor; Social norms; Inequality; Demand and supply of labor;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General

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