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Household Choices of Child Labor and Schooling: A Simple Model with Application to Brazil

  • Rodrigo R. Soares
  • Diana Kruger
  • Matias Berthelon

This paper argues that conflicting results from previous literature—related to the effect of economic conditions on child labor—derive from different income and substitution effects implicit in different types of income variation. We use agricultural shocks to local economic activity in Brazil (coffee production) to distinguish between increases in household income and increases in the opportunity cost of time. Results show that higher household wealth is associated with lower child labor and higher schooling. Nevertheless, temporary increases in local economic activity are associated with higher child labor and lower schooling, particularly for children with poor economic backgrounds.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/47/1/1
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 47 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-31

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2012:i:1:p:1-31
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Black, Dan A. & McKinnish, Terra G. & Sanders, Seth G., 2003. "Does the availability of high-wage jobs for low-skilled men affect welfare expenditures? Evidence from shocks to the steel and coal industries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1921-1942, September.
  2. Carol Ann Rogers & Kenneth A. Swinnerton, 2003. "Does Child Labor Decrease When Parental Incomes Rise?," Development and Comp Systems 0306006, EconWPA.
  3. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev H. & Gatti, Roberta, 2006. "Child labor and agricultural shocks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 80-96, October.
  4. Eliana Cardoso & Andre Portela Souza, 2004. "The Impact of Cash Transfers on Child Labor and School Attendance in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0407, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  5. Patrick M. Emerson & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "Is There a Child Labor Trap? Inter-Generational Persistence of Child Labor in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0214, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
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  7. Eric V. Edmonds, 2007. "Child Labor," NBER Working Papers 12926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Levison, Deborah & Moe, Karine S. & Marie Knaul, Felicia, 2001. "Youth Education and Work in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 167-188, January.
  9. Schultz, T Paul, 1985. "Changing World Prices, Women's Wages, and the Fertility Transition: Sweden, 1860-1910," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1126-54, December.
  10. Eric V. Edmonds, 2005. "Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  11. Victoria Gunnarsson & Peter F. Orazem & Mario A. Sánchez, 2006. "Child Labor and School Achievement in Latin America," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 31-54.
  12. FranÁois Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Phillippe G. Leite, 2003. "Conditional Cash Transfers, Schooling, and Child Labor: Micro-Simulating Brazil's Bolsa Escola Program," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 229-254, December.
  13. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
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  15. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
  16. Kruger, Diana I., 2007. "Coffee production effects on child labor and schooling in rural Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 448-463, March.
  17. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
  18. Edmonds, Eric V., 2006. "Child labor and schooling responses to anticipated income in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 386-414, December.
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