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Understanding child labour beyond the standard economic assumption of monetary poverty

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  • Krauss, Alexander

Abstract

Child labour is pervasive across sub-Saharan Africa. The common assumption is that monetary poverty is its most important cause. This paper investigates this hypothesis with empirical evidence by exploring structural, geographic, monetary, demographic, cultural, seasonal and school-supply factors simultaneously that can influence child labour. It is a first attempt in the literature to combine quantitative with qualitative methods to identify a broader range of potential factors—on the demand- and supply-side and at the micro and macro levels—for why children work in agrarian economies like Ghana. Interviews with the Minister of Education and with children enrich the multivariate regression results. The multiple sources of child labour appear to include, in particular, the structure of the economy, social norms and no returns to rural basic education. Policy responses are outlined especially on the demand side that are needed to help reduce harmful child labour that affects children’s education and later opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Krauss, Alexander, 2017. "Understanding child labour beyond the standard economic assumption of monetary poverty," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68497, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:68497
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/68497/
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    Cited by:

    1. Delprato, Marcos, 2022. "Educational gender gap in sub-Saharan Africa: Does the estimation method matter? A comparison using a sample of opposite sex twins," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 95(C).
    2. Zietz, Susannah & de Hoop, Jacobus & Handa, Sudhanshu, 2018. "The role of productive activities in the lives of adolescents: Photovoice evidence from Malawi," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 246-255.
    3. Lee, Jieun & Kim, Hyoungjong & Rhee, Dong-Eun, 2021. "No harmless child labor: The effect of child labor on academic achievement in francophone Western and Central Africa," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child labour; Poverty; Agriculture; Africa; Child work; Ghana; Mixed methods; Methodology;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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