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Trade and Child Labor: A General Equilibrium Analysis

  • Subhayu Bandyopadhyay
  • Sudeshna C. Bandyopadhyay

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.

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Article provided by M.E. Sharpe, Inc. in its journal Emerging Markets Finance and Trade.

Volume (Year): 45 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 5-18

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Handle: RePEc:mes:emfitr:v:45:y:2009:i:1:p:5-18
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://mesharpe.metapress.com/link.asp?target=journal&id=111024

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  1. Edmonds, Eric V & Pavcnik, Nina, 2004. "International Trade and Child Labour: Cross-Country Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 4309, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C. & Guarcello, Lorenzo, 2002. "Does Globalization Increase Child Labor?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1579-1589, September.
  4. 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, 03.
  5. repec:esx:essedp:500 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. 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, 08.
  7. 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, 06.
  8. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  9. Ranjan, P., 1999. ""Credit Constraints and the Phenomenon of Child Labor"," Papers 98-99-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  10. Jafarey, Saqib & Lahiri, Sajal, 1999. "Will trade sanctions reduce child labour? The role of credit markets," Economics Discussion Papers 10004, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
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