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Why do parents make their children work? A test of the poverty hypothesis in rural areas of Burkina Faso

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  • Christelle Dumas

Abstract

It is often argued that child labour is caused by poverty. However, much child labour takes place in rural areas characterized by substantial labour market imperfections. A model of rural household labour supply is developed that provides testable implications for two versions of the poverty hypothesis: that child labour is due to a binding subsistence constraint and that child leisure is a luxury good. We find that in rural Burkina Faso children do not provide labour to meet households' subsistence needs and that child leisure is a normal good. The evidence suggests that labour market imperfections are a main reason for using child labour. Copyright 2007 , Oxford University Press.

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  • Christelle Dumas, 2007. "Why do parents make their children work? A test of the poverty hypothesis in rural areas of Burkina Faso," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 301-329, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:59:y:2007:i:2:p:301-329
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    1. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:303-330 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1999. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 539-572, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dumas, Christelle, 2015. "Shocks and child labor: the role of markets," FSES Working Papers 458, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    2. Samia Badji, 2016. "The Wealth Paradox for Whom? Child Labor and the Identification of Households Excluded from the Land and the Labor Markets in Madagascar," Working Papers halshs-01414530, HAL.
    3. 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.
    4. 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).
    5. Julián Arteaga Vallejo, 2016. "Land, Child Labor, and Schooling: Longitudinal evidence from Colombia and Mexico," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 014977, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    6. Heather Congdon Fors, 2012. "Child Labour: A Review Of Recent Theory And Evidence With Policy Implications," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 570-593, September.
    7. Delphine Boutin, 2012. "Family farming, child labour and the wealth paradox: evidence from Mali," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 3471-3479.
    8. Eric V. Edmonds & Norbert Schady, 2012. "Poverty Alleviation and Child Labor," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 100-124, November.
    9. Lima, Luiz Renato & Mesquita, Shirley & Wanamaker, Marianne, 2015. "Child labor and the wealth paradox: The role of altruistic parents," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 80-82.
    10. Idris Isyaku Abdullahi & Zaleha Mohd Noor & Rusmawati Said & Ahmad Zubaidi Baharumshah, 2016. "Does Poverty Influence Prevalence of Child Labor in Developing Countries?," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(1), pages 7-12.
    11. Raymond B. Frempong & David Stadelmann, 2017. "The Effect of Food Price Changes on Child Labor: Evidence from Uganda," CREMA Working Paper Series 2017-06, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    12. Chiwaula, Levison/S, 2009. "Child labour and poverty linkages: A micro analysis from rural Malawian data," MPRA Paper 25915, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2009.
    13. Dumas, Christelle, 2013. "Market Imperfections and Child Labor," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 127-142.
    14. Basu, Kaushik & Das, Sanghamitra & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2010. "Child labor and household wealth: Theory and empirical evidence of an inverted-U," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 8-14.
    15. Bluffstone, Randy, 2014. "Child Labor, the Wealth Paradox, and Common Forest Management in Bolivia," Discussion Papers edf-dp-14-16, Resources For the Future.
    16. Chakraborty, Kamalika & Chakraborty, Bidisha, 2016. "Will increase in size of landholding reduce child labour in presence of unemployment? A theoretical analysis," MPRA Paper 74206, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. C. Simon Fan, 2011. "The Luxury Axiom, The Wealth Paradox, And Child Labor," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 36(3), pages 25-45, September.
    18. Bidisha Chakraborty & Kamalika Chakraborty, 2014. "Child Labour, human capital formation and size of landholding: short run and long run analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(3), pages 2024-2037.
    19. Aïssata COULIBALY, 2016. "Revisiting the Relationship between Financial Development and Child Labor in Developing Countries: Do Inequality and Institutions Matter?," Working Papers 201619, CERDI.
    20. Mukherjee , Conan & Pal , Rama, 2016. "Role of Parental Expectations in Determining Child Labour and Schooling," Working Papers 2016:6, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    21. Lodhi, Abdul Salam & Tsegai, Daniel W. & Gerber, Nicolas, 2011. "Determinants of participation in child’s education and alternative activities in Pakistan," Discussion Papers 119110, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).

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