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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. Lillard, L-A & Willis, R-J, 1997. "Motives for Intergenerational Transfers. Evidence from Malaysia," Papers 97-04, RAND - Reprint Series.
  2. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 1999. "Does child labor displace schooling? - evidence on behavioral responses to an enrollment subsidy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2116, The World Bank.
  3. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
  4. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
  5. 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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  10. 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.
  11. Anders Forslund & Oskar Nordström Stans, 2006. "Swedish Youth Labour Market Policies Revisited," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 75(3), pages 168-185.
  12. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  13. Moshe Hazan & Hosny Zoabi, 2005. "Does Longevity Cause Growth," GE, Growth, Math methods 0507001, EconWPA.
  14. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James & Navarro, Salvador, 2004. "Separating uncertainty from heterogeneity in life cycle earnings," Working Paper Series 2005:6, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  15. Edmonds, Eric V., 2006. "Child labor and schooling responses to anticipated income in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 386-414, December.
  16. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Levhari, David & Weiss, Yoram, 1974. "The Effect of Risk on the Investment in Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 950-63, December.
  18. Jensen, Robert T., 2004. "Do private transfers 'displace' the benefits of public transfers? Evidence from South Africa," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 89-112, January.
  19. De Vos, Susan, 1985. "An Old-Age Security Incentive for Children in the Philippines and Taiwan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 793-814, July.
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