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Health effects of child work: Evidence from rural Vietnam

Author

Listed:
  • 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

    as
    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.
    3. Hideo Akabayashi & George Psacharopoulos, 1999. "The trade-off between child labour and human capital formation: A Tanzanian case study," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(5), pages 120-140.
    4. O.O'Donnel & F.Rosati & E.van Doorslaer, 2002. "Child Labour and Health: Evidence and Research Issues," UCW Working Paper 1, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
    5. Immink, Maarten D. C. & Payongayong, Ellen, 1999. "Risk analysis of poor health and growth failure of children in the central highlands of Guatemala," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(8), pages 997-1009, April.
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    8. Eric Edmonds & Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Does Globalization Increase Child Labor? Evidence from Vietnam," NBER Working Papers 8760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Edmonds, Eric & Turk, Carrie, 2002. "Child labor in transition in Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2774, The World Bank.
    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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    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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