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Does Child Labour Affect School Attendance and School Performance?Multi Country Evidence on SIMPOC data

  • Geoffrey Lancaster
  • Ranjan Ray

This paper provides evidence on the the impact of child labor on child schooling.The limited evidence that does exist on this issue makes little or no attempt to control for the endogeneity of child labour hours in the estimation.Such endogeneity can arise because of the reverse causation of child labour by learning dis advantage and lack of necessary intrinsic skills. The present study is conducted on the data sets of Belize,Cambodia,Namibia,Panama,Philippines,Portugal and Sri lanka, that were collected under the SIMPOC programme of the ILO.The study,that seeks to control for the endogeneity mentioned above, provides extensive evidence of the damage done by child labour to the child's education right from her point of entry to the labour market.A lone and significant exception is provided by the Sri Lankan results.The Sri Lankan evidence suggests a cut off point in the range of(approximately) 12-15 hours a week beyond which child work impacts negatively on the child's learning. This evidence is supportive of ILO Convention No. 138, Art. 7(b), which stipulates that "light work" may be permitted as of the age of 12 provided it does not "prejudice attendance at school".This is howvever not true of the evidence from other countries.One result that all the data sets agree on is the strong positive role that adult education plays in promoting the child's learning.

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings with number 68.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecm:ausm04:68
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  1. Basu, Kaushik & Tzannatos, Zafiris, 2003. "The Global Child Labor Problem: What Do We Know and What Can We Do?," Working Papers 03-06, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  2. F. Rosati & M. Rossi, 2001. "Children's Working Hours, School Enrolment and Human Capital Accumulation: Evidence from Pakistan and Nicaragua," UCW Working Paper 8, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
  3. Peter Jensen & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 1997. "Child labour or school attendance? Evidence from Zambia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 407-424.
  4. Orazem, Peter & Gunnarsson, Victoria, 2004. "Child Labour, School Attendance and Performance: A Review," Staff General Research Papers 11177, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C158-75, March.
  6. Basu, Kaushik, 1998. "Child labor : cause, consequence, and cure, with remarks on International Labor Standards," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2027, The World Bank.
  7. Sonia Bhalotra, 2000. "Is child work necessary?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6652, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Ray, R., 1999. "Poverty, Household Size and Child Welfare in India," Papers 1999-01, Tasmania - Department of Economics.
  9. Christopher Heady, 2000. "What is the Effect of Child Labour on Learning Achievement? Evidence from Ghana," Papers inwopa00/7, Innocenti Working Papers.
  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. Hideo Akabayashi & George Psacharopoulos, 1999. "The trade-off between child labour and human capital formation: A Tanzanian case study," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(5), pages 120-140.
  12. Ranjan Ray, 2002. "The Determinants of Child Labour and Child Schooling in Ghana," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(4), pages 561-590, December.
  13. Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2001. " Child Growth in the Time of Drought," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(4), pages 409-36, September.
  14. George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
  15. Pushkar Maitra & Ranjan Ray, 2002. "The Joint Estimation of Child Participation in Schooling and Employment: Comparative Evidence from Three Continents," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 41-62.
  16. Orazem, Peter F & Gunnarsson, Victoria, 2003. "Child labour, school attendance and academic performance : a review," ILO Working Papers 366541, International Labour Organization.
  17. Paul Glewwe, 2002. "Schools and Skills in Developing Countries: Education Policies and Socioeconomic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 436-482, June.
  18. FurioCamillo Rosati & Zafiris Tzannatos, 2006. "Child Labour In Vietnam," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(1), pages 1-31, 02.
  19. Ranjan Ray, 2000. "Analysis of child labour in Peru and Pakistan: A comparative study," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 3-19.
  20. Sonia Bhalotra, and Zafiris Tzannatos, 2003. "Child labor : what have we learnt?," Social Protection Discussion Papers 27872, The World Bank.
  21. 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.
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