A Model of Parental Demand for Child Labor with High Fertility Norms
This paper sets out a model to examine how social norms regarding fertility influence parental choice between child labor and child's education. The parent is modeled as a “social animal” who derives utility from conformity with behavior of other members of the society. In deciding on the number of children, parents internalize the gain of utility from conformity to the norm for fertility. The model investigates the influence of the social element of conformity on the education decision for children and the prevalence of child labor. Social utility from conformity with exogenous social norms of high fertility increases the prevalence of child labor. This social norm can decrease the effectiveness of public policy aimed at encouraging education in place of child labor. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003
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