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Is child work a deterrent to school attendance and school attainment?: Evidence from Bangladesh


  • Rasheda Khanam
  • Russell Ross


Purpose - The aim of this paper is to examine the linkages between child work and both school attendance and school attainment of children aged 5-17 years using data from a survey based in rural Bangladesh. Design/methodology/approach - This paper first looks at school attendance as an indicator of a child's time input in schooling; then it measures the “schooling-for-age” as a learning achievement or schooling outcome using logistic regression models. Findings - The results from this paper show that school attendance and grade attainment are lower for children who are working. The gender-disaggregated estimates show that probability of grade attainment is lower for girls than that of boys. The results further reveal that child work has the highest impact on schooling of Bangladeshi children, followed by supply side correlates (presence of a school in the community), parental education and household income, respectively. Practical implications - The results obtained in this paper are of interest to policy makers seeking to design policies that increase school outcome and reduce child labor. Originality/value - The paper contributes to the limited empirical literature that has explored the impact of child work on schooling on Bangladesh by considering supply side correlates of schooling, and unpaid household work in modeling child labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Rasheda Khanam & Russell Ross, 2011. "Is child work a deterrent to school attendance and school attainment?: Evidence from Bangladesh," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(8), pages 692-713, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:38:y:2011:i:8:p:692-713

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heady, Christopher, 2003. "The Effect of Child Labor on Learning Achievement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 385-398, February.
    2. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
    3. Victoria Gunnarsson & Peter F. Orazem & Mario A. Sánchez, 2006. "Child Labor and School Achievement in Latin America," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 31-54.
    4. Pushkar Maitra, 2003. "Schooling and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Bangladesh," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 129-153.
    5. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Evenson, Robert E, 1977. "Fertility, Schooling, and the Economic Contribution of Children in Rural India: An Econometric Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1065-1079, July.
    6. Furio Camillo Rosati & Mariacristina Rossi, 2003. "Children's Working Hours and School Enrollment: Evidence from Pakistan and Nicaragua," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 283-295, December.
    7. Claire Salmon, 2005. "Child Labor in Bangladesh," Journal of Developing Societies, , vol. 21(1-2), pages 33-54, June.
    8. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 158-175, March.
    9. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
    10. George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
    11. Amin, Shahina & Quayes, Shakil & Rives, Janet M., 2006. "Market work and household work as deterrents to schooling in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1271-1286, July.
    12. Geoffrey Lancaster & Ranjan Ray, 2004. "Does Child Labour Affect School Attendance and School Performance?Multi Country Evidence on SIMPOC data," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 68, Econometric Society.
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