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Explaining cross‐country differences in policy response to child labour

Author

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  • Sylvain E. Dessy
  • Désiré Vencatachellum

Abstract

We develop a model of child labour where poverty and inequality combine to determine policy response to child labour. If there are strategic complementarities between parents’ decisions to educate their children and firms’ technology choice, multiple school‐enrolment equilibria arise. Only rich countries and those that are not ‘too’ poor and have a low wealth inequality benefit from adopting child labour laws. This is because such laws commit an economy with either of those initial conditions to the full school‐enrolment equilibrium which Pareto‐dominates all other equilibria. Moreover, wealth redistribution is not sufficient to eliminate child labour. JEL Classification: I20, O33 Une explication des différences d’un pays à l’autre dans la réaction des politiques au phénomène du travail des enfants Les auteurs développent un modèle de travail des enfants dans lequel les niveaux de pauvreté et d’inégalité se combinent pour déterminer les politiques. Si des complémentarités stratégiques existent entre les décisions des parents d’éduquer leurs enfants et le choix de technologie des entreprises, de nombreux équilibres impliquant divers niveaux d’inscription à l’école sont possibles. Seuls les pays riches, et ceux qui ne sont pas « trop » pauvres ou qui ont un degré d’inégalité de la richesse relativement bas, tirent profit de lois réglementant le travail des enfants. C’est le cas parce que de telles lois engagent une économie qui a ces caractéristiques à se diriger vers un équilibre d’inscription totale des enfants à l’école. Dans ces cas, il s’agit d’un équilibre qui domine au sens de Pareto tous les autres équilibres. On note de plus que la redistribution de la richesse ne suffit pas pour éliminer le travail des enfants.

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvain E. Dessy & Désiré Vencatachellum, 2003. "Explaining cross‐country differences in policy response to child labour," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 36(1), pages 1-20, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:canjec:v:36:y:2003:i:1:p:1-20
    DOI: 10.1111/1540-5982.00001
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    2. Kumar, D. Thresh & Palaniappan, Murugesan & Kannan, Devika & Shankar, K. Madan, 2014. "Analyzing the CSR issues behind the supplier selection process using ISM approach," Resources, Conservation & Recycling, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 268-278.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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