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The Impact of Public School Enrolment on Child Labor in Punjab, Pakistan

  • Hamna Ahmed

    ()

    (Senior Research and Teaching Fellow, Centre for Research in Economics and Business (CREB), Lahore School of Economics, Pakistan.)

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    This paper investigates the causal impact of public school enrolment on child labor. Our main hypothesis is as follows: Is school enrolment a substitute for child labor? Recognizing that schooling and work choices are jointly determined by parents in a utility maximizing framework, the study applies an instrumental variable solution to the problem of simultaneity. This approach entails using the receipt of free textbooks and access to a public primary facility as instruments for public school enrolment. Using data from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey for 2007/08, our working sample consists of children between 5 and 14 years of age, which makes up 25 percent of the surveyed population. The results suggest that public school enrolment can be used as a substitute for child labor. On average, a 1 percentage point increase in a household’s enrolment ratio has the potential to reduce the number of hours of paid labor by almost 5 percentage points, ceteris paribus. This substitutability is highest among poor, urban, male children. Moreover, the incidence of child labor is higher among larger poor families.

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    Article provided by Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics in its journal Lahore Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July-Dec)
    Pages: 1-34

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    Handle: RePEc:lje:journl:v:17:y:2012:i:2:p:1-34
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    1. Edmonds, Eric V., 2007. "Child Labor," IZA Discussion Papers 2606, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Sonia Bhalotra & Christopher Heady, 2003. "Child Farm Labor: The Wealth Paradox," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 197-227, December.
    3. Nazmul Chaudhury & Dilip Parajuli, 2010. "Conditional cash transfers and female schooling: the impact of the female school stipend programme on public school enrolments in Punjab, Pakistan," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(28), pages 3565-3583.
    4. Eric V. Edmonds & Nina Pavcnik, 2005. "Child Labor in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 199-220, Winter.
    5. Furio C. Rosati & Mariacristina Rossi, 2003. "Children's Working Hours and School Enrollment: Evidence from Pakistan and Nicaragua," CEIS Research Paper 25, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
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    9. Chaudhury, Nazmul & Parajuli, Dilip, 2006. "Conditional cash transfers and female schooling : the impact of the female school stipend program on public school enrollments in Punjab, Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4102, The World Bank.
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    11. Basu, Kaushik & Das, Sanghamitra & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2009. "Child Labor and Household Wealth : Theory and Empirical Evidence of an Inverted-U," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 888, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    12. Chowa, Gina & Ansong, David & Masa, Rainier, 2010. "Assets and child well-being in developing countries: A research review," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 1508-1519, November.
    13. Hideo Akabayashi & George Psacharopoulos, 1999. "The trade-off between child labour and human capital formation: A Tanzanian case study," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(5), pages 120-140.
    14. Heady, Christopher, 2003. "The Effect of Child Labor on Learning Achievement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 385-398, February.
    15. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," Working Papers 653, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    16. Ray, R., 1998. "Analysis of Child Labour in Peru and Pakistan: a Comparative Study," Papers 1998-05, Tasmania - Department of Economics.
    17. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1999. "How Large are the Social Returns to Education? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws," NBER Working Papers 7444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
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