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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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  1. Sylvain Dessy & Stephane Pallage, 2000. "Child Labor and Coordination Failures," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 109, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  2. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
  4. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M & Tamura, Robert, 1990. "Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S12-37, October.
  5. Kaushik Basu, 1999. "Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
  6. Sylvain E. Dessy & Stéphane Pallage, 2005. "A Theory of the Worst Forms of Child Labour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 68-87, 01.
  7. Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Coulombe, Harold, 1997. "Child labor and schooling in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1844, The World Bank.
  8. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Martin Shubik, 2001. "On Understanding Money," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(1), pages 95-120, January.
  10. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 1997. "Family size, schooling and child labor in Peru - An empirical analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 387-405.
  11. Jafarey, Saqib & Lahiri, Sajal, 2002. "Will trade sanctions reduce child labour?: The role of credit markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 137-156, June.
  12. Moshe Hazan & Binyamin Berdugo, 2002. "Child Labour, Fertility, and Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 810-828, October.
  13. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar.
  14. Michel A. Robe & Stephane Pallage, 2000. "Foreign Aid And The Business Cycle," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 107, Society for Computational Economics.
  15. Nardinelli, Clark, 1982. "Corporal punishment and children's wages in nineteenth century Britain," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 283-295, July.
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  17. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  18. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  19. Saqib Jafarey & Sajal Lahiri, 2001. "Child Labour," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(1), pages 69-93, January.
  20. Stephane Pallage, 2000. "On the Enforcement of Cooperative Environmental Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(3), pages 572-596, July.
  21. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  22. Kyriacou, George A., 1991. "Level and Growth Effects of Human Capital: A Cross-Country Study of the Convergence Hypothesis," Working Papers 91-26, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  23. Galor, O. & Tsiddon, D., 1996. "The Distribution of Human Capital and Economic Growth," Papers 18-96, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  24. Costas Azariadis, 1996. "The Economics of Poverty Traps Part One: Complete Markets," Working Papers 9606, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  25. 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.
  26. Ray, Ranjan, 2000. "Child Labor, Child Schooling, and Their Interaction with Adult Labor: Empirical Evidence for Peru and Pakistan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 347-67, May.
  27. Azariadis, Costas & Drazen, Allan, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-26, May.
  28. Ray, Ranjan, 1999. "How child labor and child schooling interact with adult labor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2179, The World Bank.
  29. 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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