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Child Work and Schooling: The Role of Household Asset Profiles and Poverty in Rural Ethiopia

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  • John Cockburn
  • Benoit Dostie

Abstract

Child labour is commonly associated with poverty. This is consistent with the expectation that the supply of child labour will fall as incomes increase. However, the empirical evidence for this link is weak. We thus seek to extend the theoretical and empirical framework to better address demand determinants for child labour. We argue that this demand is household-specific given that in Ethiopia, as in most other developing countries, child labour is overwhelmingly performed for the child's own household in the absence of a smoothly functioning child labour market. A simple agricultural household model with a missing labour market shows that household asset portfolios and household composition are the principal determinants of child labour demand. Multinomial logit, mixed logit and simultaneous equation models are used to analyze child time use decisions in the context of rural Ethiopia while addressing issues of income endogeneity and the failure of the independence of irrelevant alternations hypothesis. Our results suggest that the demand for child labour plays a major role in child time-use decisions and that this demand varies substantially between households according to their asset profiles and household composition. In addition, by adequately addressing the demand side, we actually find support for a poverty--child labour link. These results imply that in pursuing asset accumulation-based poverty alleviation policies, attention should be paid to the possibility that this will encourage households to withdraw their children from school in order to take advantage of the increased returns. Copyright 2007 The author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • John Cockburn & Benoit Dostie, 2007. "Child Work and Schooling: The Role of Household Asset Profiles and Poverty in Rural Ethiopia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(4), pages 519-563, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:16:y:2007:i:4:p:519-563
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    Cited by:

    1. Francavilla, Francesca & Giannelli, Gianna Claudia & Grilli, Leonardo, 2013. "Mothers’ Employment and their Children’s Schooling: A Joint Multilevel Analysis for India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 183-195.
    2. Bluffstone, Randy, 2014. "Child Labor, the Wealth Paradox, and Common Forest Management in Bolivia," Discussion Papers edf-dp-14-16, Resources For the Future.
    3. Sudha Narayanan & Sowmya Dhanraj, 2013. "Child Work and Schooling in Rural North India: What do Time Use Data Say about Tradeoffs and Drivers of Human Capital Investment?," Working Papers id:5597, eSocialSciences.
    4. Oryoie, Ali Reza & Alwang, Jeffrey & Tideman, Nicolaus, 2017. "Child Labor and Household Land Holding: Theory and Empirical Evidence from Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 45-58.
    5. Kafle, Kashi & Jolliffe, Dean & Winter-Nelson, Alex, 2017. "Do Different Types of Assets Have Differential Effects on Child Education? Evidence from Tanzania," IZA Discussion Papers 11233, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Kafle, Kashi R. & Dean, Jolliffe, 2015. "Effects of asset ownership on child health indicators and educational performance in Tanzania," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205687, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    7. Chowa, Gina A.N. & Masa, Rainier D. & Ramos, Yalitza & Ansong, David, 2015. "How do student and school characteristics influence youth academic achievement in Ghana? A hierarchical linear modeling of Ghana YouthSave baseline data," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 129-140.
    8. Chowa, Gina A.N. & Masa, Rainier D. & Wretman, Christopher J. & Ansong, David, 2013. "The impact of household possessions on youth's academic achievement in the Ghana Youthsave experiment: A propensity score analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 69-81.
    9. Kafle, Kashi & Jolliffe, Dean & Winter-Nelson, Alex, 2016. "Effects of household asset holdings on child educational performance: Evidence from Tanzania," 2016 AAAE Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 249273, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    10. Sami Bibi & John Cockburn & Massa Coulibaly & Luca Tiberti, 2009. "The Impact of the Increase in Food Prices on Child Poverty and the Policy Response in Mali," Papers inwopa09/66, Innocenti Working Papers.
    11. Dendir, Seife, 2013. "Children's Endowment, Schooling, and Work in Ethiopia," WIDER Working Paper Series 086, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Beyene, Abebe D. & Mekonnen, Alemu & Gebreegziabher, Zenebe, 2014. "Natural Resource Collection and Children’s Literacy: Empirical Evidence from Panel Data in Rural Ethiopia," Discussion Papers dp-14-18-efd, Resources For the Future.
    13. Laura Camfield, 2014. "Growing Up in Ethiopia and Andhra Pradesh: The Impact of Social Protection Schemes on Girls’ Roles and Responsibilities," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 26(1), pages 107-123, January.
    14. Salma Ahmad & Ranjan Ray, 2014. "Health consequences of child labour in Bangladesh," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(4), pages 111-150, January.
    15. Felfe, Christina & Deuchert. Eva, 2011. "The tempest: Using a natural disaster to evaluate the link between wealth and child development," Economics Working Paper Series 1146, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    16. 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.
    17. Eva Deuchert & Christina Felfe, 2013. "The Tempest: Natural Disasters, Early Shocks and Children's Short- and Long-Run Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 4168, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Webbink, Ellen & Smits, Jeroen & de Jong, Eelke, 2012. "Hidden Child Labor: Determinants of Housework and Family Business Work of Children in 16 Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 631-642.

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