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Product Quality, Informality, and Child Labour

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  • Eugenia Fotoniata
  • Thomas Moutos

Abstract

This paper studies the interactions between the structure of product demand, relative wages, and the allocation of economic activity across two sectors. The agrarian sector produces a homogeneous good and consists of informal firms employing adults and children. The modern sector produces a quality-differentiated product: high-quality varieties are produced by formal firms which employ only adult labour, whereas low-quality varieties are produced by informal firms which employ child labour as well. Differences in tastes and incomes across households generate demand for both high-quality varieties and the low-quality varieties. We find that stricter enforcement of child-labour regulations and increases in minimum wages can have beneficial effects as far as the incidence of child labour and the size of the formal sector are concerned. However, since these policies have undesirable welfare effects among segments of wage-earning households, they may not garner the necessary political support.

Suggested Citation

  • Eugenia Fotoniata & Thomas Moutos, 2011. "Product Quality, Informality, and Child Labour," CESifo Working Paper Series 3537, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3537
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    Cited by:

    1. Diether W. Beuermann, 2015. "Information and Communications Technology, Agricultural Profitability and Child Labor in Rural Peru," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 988-1005, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    child labour; informality; product quality; welfare;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy

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