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Trade and Child Labor: A General Equilibrium Analysis

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  • Subhayu Bandyopadhyay
  • Sudeshna C. Bandyopadhyay

Abstract

This paper augments the existing literature on trade and child labor by exploring the effects of terms-of-trade changes in the context of a three-good general equilibrium model, in which one of the goods is a nontraded good. We find that, under quasi-linear preferences, the effect of the terms of trade on child labor depends critically on the pattern of substitutability (or complementarity) in the excess demand functions between the export good and the nontraded good. We extend the analysis to the case in which factors move freely between the three goods, as in a Heckscher-Ohlin-type framework. Finally, we show that a balanced budget policy of taxing the education of skilled families to subsidize the education of unskilled families must reduce child labor without any effect on aggregate welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Subhayu Bandyopadhyay & Sudeshna C. Bandyopadhyay, 2009. "Trade and Child Labor: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 5-18, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:emfitr:v:45:y:2009:i:1:p:5-18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edmonds, Eric V. & Pavcnik, Nina, 2006. "International trade and child labor: Cross-country evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 115-140, January.
    2. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
    3. Jafarey, Saqib & Lahiri, Sajal, 2002. "Will trade sanctions reduce child labour?: The role of credit markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 137-156, June.
    4. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
    5. Robert C. Shelburne, 2001. "An Explanation of the International Variation in the Prevalence of Child Labour," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 359-378, March.
    6. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C. & Guarcello, Lorenzo, 2002. "Does Globalization Increase Child Labor?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1579-1589, September.
    7. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
    8. Arnab K. Basu & Nancy H. Chau, 2004. "Exploitation of Child Labor and the Dynamics of Debt Bondage," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 209-238, June.
    9. Arnab K. Basu & Nancy H. Chau & Ulrike Grote, 2006. "Guaranteed Manufactured without Child Labor: The Economics of Consumer Boycotts, Social Labeling and Trade Sanctions," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 466-491, August.
    10. Edmonds, Eric V. & Pavcnik, Nina, 2005. "The effect of trade liberalization on child labor," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 401-419, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Harald Grossmann & Jochen Michaelis, 2007. "Trade Sanctions and the Incidence of Child Labor," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(1), pages 49-62, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    child labor; nontraded goods; terms of trade; trade sanctions;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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