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Buying Out Child Labor?

In this paper we view child labor as a negative externality exerted by some poor countries on richer nations. The practice of child labor can thus be used by the poor to extract some form of compensation over time. We build a two-country growth model with international externality. We then calibrate our model to the United States and a poor country, solve it numerically and provide a quantitative description of the minimum transfers necessary to induce the poor to give up child labor. We then check their sustainability from the point of view of the rich. This is one of the first attempts at quantifying a moral issue. Dans ce papier, nous considérons le travail des enfants comme une externalité négative exercée par quelques pays pauvres sur les nations plus riches. La pratique du travail des enfants peut donc être utilisée par les pauvres pour extraire une forme de compensation à travers le temps. Nous construisons un modèle de croissance à deux pays avec une externalité internationale. Ensuite, nous étalonnons notre modèle aux Etats-Unis et un pays pauvre, le résolvons numériquement et donnons une description quantitative des transfers minimaux nécessaires pour inciter les pauvres à abandonner le travail des enfants. Puis nous vérifions la soutenabilité du point de vue des riches. Ceci est une des premières tentatives de quantifier un problème moral.

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Paper provided by CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal in its series Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers with number 123.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cre:crefwp:123
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  23. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar.
  24. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
  25. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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  27. Karine S. Moe, 1998. "Fertility, Time Use, and Economic Development," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 699-718, July.
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