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Child Labor and Resistance to Change

Author

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  • G. Bellettini
  • C. Berti Ceroni
  • G. Ottaviano

Abstract

We study the interactions between technological innovation, investment in human capital and child labor. In our setting new technologies require new skills and new skills can be developed only through schooling. In a two-stage game, first firms decide on innovation, then households decide on education. In equilibrium the presence of inefficient child labor depends on parameters related to technology, parents’ altruism and the diffusion of firm property. When child labor exists, it is due to either firms reluctance to innovate or households’ unwillingness to educate or both. The optimal policy to eliminate child labor depends crucially on its underlying cause. We show that, in some cases, compulsory schooling laws or a ban on child labor are welfare reducing, while a subsidy to innovation is the right tool to eliminate child labor and increase welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • G. Bellettini & C. Berti Ceroni & G. Ottaviano, 2003. "Child Labor and Resistance to Change," Working Papers 474, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:474
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dessy, Sylvain E. & Pallage, Stephane, 2001. "Child labor and coordination failures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 469-476, August.
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    4. Kaushik Basu, 1999. "Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
    5. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989. "Industrialization and the Big Push," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1003-1026, October.
    6. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 81-102.
    7. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Das Human Kapital," Working Papers 2000-17, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    8. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C., 2000. "Why do Indian Children Work, and is it Bad for Them?," IZA Discussion Papers 115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    11. Carol Ann Rogers & Kenneth A. Swinnerton, 1999. "The Economics of Child Labor: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1382-1385.
    12. G. Bellettini & C. Berti Ceroni, 2000. "Compulsory schooling laws and the cure against child labor," Working Papers 394, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    13. Giorgio Bellettini & Carlotta Berti Ceroni, 2004. "Compulsory Schooling Laws and the Cure for Child Labour," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 227-239, July.
    14. Paul Segerstrom & Elias Dinopoulos, 1999. "A Schumpeterian Model of Protection and Relative Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 450-472, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Burhan, Nik Ahmad Sufian & Sidek, Abdul Halim & Ibrahim, Saifuzzaman, 2016. "Eradicating the Crime of Child Labour in Africa: The Roles of Income, Schooling, Fertility, and Foreign Direct Investment," MPRA Paper 77250, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Chiwaula, Levison/S, 2009. "Child labour and poverty linkages: A micro analysis from rural Malawian data," MPRA Paper 25915, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2009.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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