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Gender differences in time allocation of poor children in Colombia

Listed author(s):
  • Juan Miguel Gallego


  • Carlos E. Sepulveda


This paper studies the e§ect of credit constraints and constraints on transfers between parents and children, on di§erences in labor and schooling across children within the same household, with an application to gender. When families are unconstrained in these respects, di§erences in labor supply or education are driven by di§erences in wages or returns to education. If the family faces an imperfect capital market, the labor supply of each child is ine¢ cient, but di§erences across children are still driven by comparative advantage. However, if interfamily transfers are constrained so that parents cannot o§set inequality between their children, they will favor the human capital accumulation of the more disadvantaged child -generally the one who works more as a child. We use our theory to examine the gender gap in child labor. Using a sample of poor families in Colombia, we conÖrm our prediction among rural households, although this is less clear for urban households. The gender gap is largely explained by the wage gap between girls and boys. Moreover, families with the potential to make capital transfers to adult children (e.g. those with large animals), can compensate adult sons for their greater child labor and reduced educational attainment. In such families, as predicted, the male/female labor gap isgreater.

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Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO in its series DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO with number 008248.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: 28 Feb 2011
Handle: RePEc:col:000092:008248
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