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On The Distributional Consequences Of Child Labor Legislation

  • Dirk Krueger
  • Jessica Tjornhom Donohue

This article studies the effects of child labor legislation on human capital accumulation and the distribution of wealth and welfare. We calibrate our model to U.S. data circa 1880 and find that the consequences of restricting child labor or providing tax-financed education depend on the main source of individual household income. Households with significant financial assets unambiguously lose from government intervention, whereas high-wage workers benefit most from a child labor ban, and low-wage workers benefit most from free education. Introducing free education results in substantial welfare gains, whereas a child labor ban induces small welfare losses. Copyright 2005 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 46 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (08)
Pages: 785-815

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:46:y:2005:i:3:p:785-815
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