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Mortality Risks, Education and Child Labour

  • Baland, Jean-Marie
  • Estevan, Fernanda

In this paper, we investigate the role of young adult mortality on child labour and educational decisions. We argue that mortality risks are a major source of risks in returns to education in developing countries. We show that, in the absence of appropriate insurance mechanisms, the level of child labour is inefficient, but it can be too high or too low. It is too high when parents are not very altruistic or anticipate positive transfers from their children in the future. Uncertain returns to education, endogenous mortality or imperfect capital markets unambiguously increase child labour. When the level of child labour is inefficiently high, we also show that a cash transfer conditional on child's schooling can always restore efficiency regarding child labour.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5972.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5972
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  1. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  2. Pouliot, William, 2006. "Introducing uncertainty into Baland and Robinson's model of child labour," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 264-272, February.
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  14. Orley Ashenfelter & Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2000. "A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/Earnings Relationship, with Tests for Publication Bias," NBER Working Papers 7457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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