Economic growth: A panacea for child labor?
In this paper, we test whether economic growth will lead to a decline in child labour. Our analysis brings together household data from the National Sample Survey of India and state level macro data from various sources to estimate a bivariate probit model analysing the impact of growth and development on the probability of child employment across 15 states in India. Our results lead us to conclude that contrary to popular wisdom, growth actually increases rather than decreases child labour. Pro-poor growth however does help to reduce child labour significantly amongst both boys and girls. we also find that macroeconomic prosperity has a greater impact on girls that on boys and we conclude that this is because in India's socio-cultural environment, girls are sent outside the home to work only in extreme circumstances. In this context, any improvement is likely to impact first upon girls and only then on boys.
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