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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. Ashenfelter, O. & Harmon, C. & Oosterbeek, H., 1999. "A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/ Earnings Relationship, with tests for Publication Bias," Papers 99/20, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  2. 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.
  3. Forslund, Anders & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2006. "Swedish youth labour market policies revisited," Working Paper Series 2006:6, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1995. "Intertemporal Population Ethics: Critical-Level Utilitarian Principles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(6), pages 1303-20, November.
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  7. 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.
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  9. Lee Lillard & Robert Willis, 1997. "Motives for interqenerational transfers: Evidence from Malaysia," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 115-134, February.
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  11. 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.
  12. William Pouliot, 2003. "Introducing Uncertainty into Baland and Robinson's Model of Child Labour," Carleton Economic Papers 03-11, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2006.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Moshe Hazan & Hosny Zoabi, 2005. "Does Longevity Cause Growth," GE, Growth, Math methods 0507001, EconWPA.
  16. 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.
  17. Razin, Assaf, 1976. "Lifetime Uncertainty, Human Capital and Physical Capital," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(3), pages 439-48, September.
  18. 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.
  19. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
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