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Health effects of child work: Evidence from rural Vietnam

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  • Owen O'Donnell

    ()

  • Furio C. Rosati

    ()

  • Eddy van Doorslaer

    ()

Abstract

We test whether work in childhood impacts on health. We focus on agricultural work, the dominant form of child work worldwide. Data are from the Vietnam Living Standards Survey, 1992-93 and 1997-98. We correct for both unobservable heterogeneity and simultaneity biases. Instruments include small area labour market and education conditions obtained from community level surveys. We use three indicators of health: body mass index; reported illness; and, height growth. There is clear evidence of a healthy worker selection effect. We find little evidence of a contemporaneous impact of child work on health but work undertaken during childhood raises the risk of illness up to five years later and the risk is increasing with the duration of work. There is no evidence that work impedes the growth of the child.
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Suggested Citation

  • Owen O'Donnell & Furio C. Rosati & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2005. "Health effects of child work: Evidence from rural Vietnam," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(3), pages 437-467, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:18:y:2005:i:3:p:437-467
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-004-0197-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Kaushik Basu, 1999. "Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
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    10. George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
    11. Fentiman, Alicia & Hall, Andrew & Bundy, Don, 2001. "Health and cultural factors associated with enrolment in basic education: a study in rural Ghana," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 429-439, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Vincenzo Atella & Mariacristina Rossi, 2010. "Child labor, school attendance and access to health care services by children: evidence from Ghana," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 178, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    2. Sim, Armand & Suryadarma, Daniel & Suryahadi, Asep, 2017. "The Consequences of Child Market Work on the Growth of Human Capital," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 144-155.
    3. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    4. Zhao, Liqiu & Wang, Fei & Zhao, Zhong, 2016. "Trade Liberalization and Child Labor in China," IZA Discussion Papers 10295, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Bezerra, Márcio Eduardo G. & Kassouf, Ana Lucia & Arends-Kuenning, Mary P., 2009. "The Impact of Child Labor and School Quality on Academic Achievement in Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 4062, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev H. & Gatti, Roberta & Krutikova, Sofya, 2008. "The consequences of child labor : evidence from longitudinal data in rural Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4677, The World Bank.
    7. Chen, Yi & Lei, Xiaoyan & Zhou, Li-An, 2010. "Child Health and the Income Gradient: Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 5182, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Miwa Kana & Han Phoumin & Fukui Seiichi, 2010. "Does Child Labour Have a Negative Impact on Child Education and Health? A Case Study in Rural Cambodia," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(3), pages 357-382.
    9. Rouge Jean-François, 2016. "Sweet Sweatshops - A Reflexion about the Impact of Sweatshops on Countries’ Competitiveness," Economics, De Gruyter Open, vol. 4(1), pages 7-36, June.
    10. repec:spr:ijphth:v:63:y:2018:i:5:d:10.1007_s00038-018-1075-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Wolff, François-Charles & Maliki, 2008. "Evidence on the impact of child labor on child health in Indonesia, 1993-2000," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 143-169, March.
    12. repec:eee:cysrev:v:86:y:2018:i:c:p:246-255 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.
    14. Furio Rosati & Roland Straub, 2007. "Does work during childhood affect the health of Guatemalan adults?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 83-94, March.
    15. Morgan, Peter J. & Trinh, Long Q., 2018. "Heterogeneous Effects of Migration on Child Welfare: Empirical Evidence from Viet Nam," ADBI Working Papers 835, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    16. Mendolia, Silvia & Nguyen, Thi & Yerokhin, Oleg, 2017. "The Impact of Parental Health on Children's Schooling and Labour Force Participation: Evidence from Vietnam," IZA Discussion Papers 10651, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Kimhi, Ayal, 2007. "Does Land Reform In Transition Countries Increase Child Labor? Evidence From The Republic Of Georgia," Discussion Papers 7147, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
    18. 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.
    19. Narciso Gaia & Newman Carol, 2015. "Children and the youth in rural Viet Nam," WIDER Working Paper Series 090, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    20. Karina Acevedo González & Raúl Quejada Pérez & Martha Yánez Contreras, 2011. "Determinantes y consecuencias del trabajo infantil: un análisis de la literatura," REVISTA FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS ECONÓMICAS, UNIVERSIDAD MILITAR NUEVA GRANADA, June.
    21. Le, Huong Thu & Homel, Ross, 2015. "The impact of child labor on children's educational performance: Evidence from rural Vietnam," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-13.
    22. J. French, 2010. "Children’s Labor Market Involvement, Household Work, and Welfare: A Brazilian Case Study," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 92(1), pages 63-78, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    I12; J13; J22; J28; J43; Child labour; health; anthropometrics; Vietnam;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets

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