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Child farm labour: theory and evidence

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  • Bhalotra, Sonia
  • Heady, Chris

Abstract

This paper presents a dynamic model of child labour supply in a farming household. The model clarifies the roles of land, income and household size, allowing labour and credit market imperfections. If labour markets are imperfect, child labour is increasing in farm size and decreasing in household size. The effect of income is shown to depend upon whether the effective choice is between work and school or whether leisure is involved. Credit market constraints tend to dilute the positive impact of farm size and reinforce the negative effect of income. The model is estimated for rural Ghana and Pakistan. A striking finding of the paper is that the effect of farm size at given levels of household income is significantly positive for girls in both countries, but not for boys. This is consistent with the finding, in other contexts, that females exhibit larger substitution effects in labour supply. Increases in household income have a negative impact on work for boys in Pakistan and for girls in Ghana but there is no income effect for the other two groups of children. We find interesting effects of household size and composition, female headship, and mothers' post-secondary education.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhalotra, Sonia & Heady, Chris, 2000. "Child farm labour: theory and evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6654, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6654
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6654/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eric V. Edmonds, 2005. "Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
    2. Ersado, Lire, 2005. "Child Labor and Schooling Decisions in Urban and Rural Areas: Comparative Evidence from Nepal, Peru, and Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 455-480, March.
    3. Ellen Webbink & Jeroen Smits & Eelke Jong, 2013. "Household and Context Determinants of Child Labor in 221 Districts of 18 Developing Countries," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(2), pages 819-836, January.
    4. Syed Imran Ali Meerza & Biswajit Bacher, 2011. "Socio-economic Condition of Child Worker of Bangladesh in Their Adulthood: An Econometric Analysis," SDSU Working Papers in Progress 22011, South Dakota State University, Department of Economics.
    5. Ersado, Lire, 2002. "Child labor and school decisions in urban and rural areas," FCND discussion papers 145, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Sonia Bhalotra, 2007. "Is Child Work Necessary?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(1), pages 29-55, February.
    7. Syed Imran Ali Meerza, 2010. "Rural-Urban Migration and Its Consequences on Rural Children: An Empirical Study," SDSU Working Papers in Progress 12010, South Dakota State University, Department of Economics.
    8. Ersado, Lire, 2003. "Child Labor And Schooling Decisions In Urban And Rural Areas: Cross-Country Evidence," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 21924, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    9. Massimiliano Bratti, 2001. "Oltre la scuola dellÕobbligo. Un' analisi empirica della decisione di proseguire nellÕistruzione post-obbligatoria in Italia," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 54(214), pages 175-203.
    10. C. Simon Fan, 2004. "Relative wage, child labor, and human capital," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 687-700, October.
    11. Dustmann, Christian & Micklewright, John & van Soest, Arthur, 2004. "In-School Work Experience, Parental Allowances, and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 1235, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Sarbajit Chaudhuri & Manash Ranjan Gupta, 2005. "Child Labour And Trade Liberalization In A Developing Economy," Labor and Demography 0510017, EconWPA.
    13. Mukherjee, Dipa, 2010. "Child workers in India: an overview of macro dimensions," MPRA Paper 35049, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2011.
    14. Harper, Caroline & Marcus, Rachel & Moore, Karen, 2003. "Enduring Poverty and the Conditions of Childhood: Lifecourse and Intergenerational Poverty Transmissions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 535-554, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child labour; poverty; female education; agricultural households; Ghana; Pakistan;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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