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International Labor Standards and the Political Economy of Child-Labor Regulation

  • Matthias Doepke
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti

Child labor is a persistent phenomenon in many developing countries. In recent years, support has been growing among rich-country governments and consumer groups for the use of trade policies, such as product boycotts and the imposition of international labor standards, to reduce child labor in poor countries. In this paper, we discuss research on the long-run implications of such policies. In particular, we demonstrate that such measures may have the unintended side effect of lowering domestic support for banning child labor within developing countries, and thus may contribute to the persistence of the child-labor problem. (JEL: I21, J88, O11, O19, O24) (c) 2009 by the European Economic Association.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 7 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04-05)
Pages: 508-518

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:7:y:2009:i:2-3:p:508-518
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  1. Basu, Kaushik, 1998. "Child labor : cause, consequence, and cure, with remarks on International Labor Standards," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2027, The World Bank.
  2. Doepke, Matthias & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "Origins and Consequences of Child Labour Restrictions: A Macroeconomic Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 5953, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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