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Economic and Cultural Forces in the Child Labour Debate: Evidence from Urban Bangladesh


  • E. delap


The relative influence of economic and cultural forces is a key area of debate amongst those exploring the causes of child work, and in wider discourse on household labour deployment. Data from Dhaka slums suggest that household poverty and income stability are important economic determinants of children's work. However, economic forces alone cannot explain child-work deployment. Evidence on the availability of adult household members to replace child contributions, and on gender and age differentials in household labour deployment, point towards the importance of cultural factors. Key cultural determinants of children's work include gender norms, age subordination and the cultural importance of avoiding idleness.

Suggested Citation

  • E. delap, 2001. "Economic and Cultural Forces in the Child Labour Debate: Evidence from Urban Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(4), pages 1-22.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:37:y:2001:i:4:p:1-22
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380412331322021

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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Naomi Hossain, 2009. "School Exclusion as Social Exclusion: The Practices And Effects of Conditional Cash Transfer Programme for the Poor in Bangladesh," Working Papers id:2177, eSocialSciences.
    2. Ellen Webbink & Jeroen Smits & Eelke Jong, 2013. "Household and Context Determinants of Child Labor in 221 Districts of 18 Developing Countries," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(2), pages 819-836, January.
    3. Stephen Bazen & Claire Salmon, 2010. "The impact of parental health on child labor: the case of Bangladesh," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(4), pages 2549-2557.
    4. Khanam, Rasheda, 2006. "Child labour and school attendance: evidence from Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 6990, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2007.


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