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Market and Non-market Child Labour in Rural India: The Role of the Mother's Participation in the Labour Force


  • Sharmistha Self


The main purpose of this paper is to study market (outside the home) and non-market (domestic) child labour in rural India and see how this is influenced by a mother's participation in the labour force. The paper also investigates whether this participation has a different impact on sons as compared with daughters. The empirical analysis is based on household survey data from rural households in northern and eastern India. The results show that a mother's labour is not a substitute for, but a complement to, market and non-market child labour, while a mother's education, along with the father's education, reduces the likelihood of child labour. Gender-based analysis lends support to existing literature regarding the gender bias in domestic child labour. Additionally, a mother's participation in the labour force is found to increase the likelihood of daughters working outside the home as well. Thus, an increase in the opportunity for mothers to work in the labour-intensive agricultural sector makes child labour more likely. The results of this paper have important policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Sharmistha Self, 2011. "Market and Non-market Child Labour in Rural India: The Role of the Mother's Participation in the Labour Force," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(3), pages 315-338, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:39:y:2011:i:3:p:315-338 DOI: 10.1080/13600818.2011.599490

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sharada Srinivasan & Arjun Singh Bedi, 2008. "Daughter Elimination in Tamil Nadu, India: A Tale of Two Ratios," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(7), pages 961-990.
    2. Waldron, Ingrid, 1983. "Sex differences in human mortality: The role of genetic factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 321-333, January.
    3. Arjun Singh Bedi & Sharada Srinivasan, 2009. "Tackling Daughter Deficits in Tamil Nadu, India," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 09-07, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
    4. Stephan Klasen & Claudia Wink, 2003. ""Missing Women": Revisiting The Debate," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 263-299.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tin-chi Lin & Alícia Adserà, 2013. "Son Preference and Children’s Housework: The Case of India," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 32(4), pages 553-584, August.

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