IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedmsr/354.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The macroeconomics of child labor regulation

Author

Listed:
  • Matthias Doepke
  • Fabrizio Zilibotti

Abstract

We develop a positive theory of the adoption of child labor laws. Workers who compete with children in the labor market support the introduction of a child labor ban, unless their own working children provide a large fraction of family income. Since child labor income depends on family size, fertility decisions lock agents into specific political preferences, and multiple steady states can arise. The introduction of child labor laws can be triggered by skill-biased technological change that induces parents to choose smaller families. The model replicates features of the history of the U.K. in the nineteenth century, when regulations were introduced after a period of rising wage inequality, and coincided with rapidly declining fertility rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The macroeconomics of child labor regulation," Staff Report 354, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:354
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://minneapolisfed.org/research/sr/sr354.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://minneapolisfed.org/research/common/pub_detail.cfm?pb_autonum_id=925
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dessy, Sylvain E. & Pallage, Stephane, 2001. "Child labor and coordination failures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 469-476, August.
    2. A. E. Peacock, 1984. "The Successful Prosecution of the Factory Acts, 1833-55," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 37(2), pages 197-210, May.
    3. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191.
    4. John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "A Positive Theory Of Geographic Mobility And Social Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(1), pages 263-303, February.
    5. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
    6. Margo, Robert A. & Aldrich Finegan, T., 1996. "Compulsory schooling legislation and school attendance in turn-of-the century America: A 'natural experiment' approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 103-110, October.
    7. 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.
    8. Kremer, Michael & Chen, Daniel L, 2002. "Income Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 227-258, September.
    9. Omer Moav, 2005. "Cheap Children and the Persistence of Poverty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 88-110, January.
    10. Feinstein, Charles, 1988. "The Rise and Fall of the Williamson Curve," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(3), pages 699-729, September.
    11. Dirk Krueger & Jessica Tjornhom Donohue, 2005. "On The Distributional Consequences Of Child Labor Legislation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(3), pages 785-815, August.
    12. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, September.
    13. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
    14. Moshe Hazan & Binyamin Berdugo, 2002. "Child Labour, Fertility, and Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 810-828, October.
    15. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Das Human Kapital," Working Papers 2000-17, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    16. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
    17. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 2001. "How Large Are Human-Capital Externalities? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 9-74, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
    19. Stephen Morris & Stephen Coate, 1999. "Policy Persistence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1327-1336, December.
    20. 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.
    21. Boadway, Robin W & Wildasin, David E, 1989. "A Median Voter Model of Social Security," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(2), pages 307-328, May.
    22. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25.
    23. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    24. Moehling, Carolyn M., 1999. "State Child Labor Laws and the Decline of Child Labor," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 72-106, January.
    25. Nardinelli, Clark, 1980. "Child Labor and the Factory Acts," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(4), pages 739-755, December.
    26. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2006. "Das Human-Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 85-117.
    27. Marimon, Ramon & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2000. "Employment and distributional effects of restricting working time," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1291-1326, June.
    28. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2001. "Child Labor: Theory, Evidence and Policy," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0111, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    29. Horrell Sara & Humphries Jane, 1995. "The Exploitation of Little Children: Child Labor and the Family Economy in the Industrial Revolution," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 485-516, October.
    30. Bardhan, Pranab & Udry, Christopher, 1999. "Development Microeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773719.
    31. Daron Acemoglu & Kenneth Rogoff & Michael Woodford, 2009. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number acem08-1, September.
    32. Douglas A. Galbi, 1997. "Child labor and the division of labor in the early English cotton mills," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 357-375.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Doepke, Matthias & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2003. "Voting with your Children: A Positive Analysis of Child Labour Laws," CEPR Discussion Papers 3733, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Simone D’Alessandro & Tamara Fioroni, 2016. "Child labour and inequality," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 14(1), pages 63-79, March.
    3. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, September.
    4. Matthias Doepke, "undated". "Origins and Consequences of Child Labor Restrictions: A Macroeconomic Perspective," UCLA Economics Online Papers 413, UCLA Department of Economics.
    5. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2010. "Do international labor standards contribute to the persistence of the child-labor problem?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 1-31, March.
    6. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2009. "The Effects of Multinational Production on Wages and Working Conditions in Developing Countries," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Globalization And International Trade Policies, chapter 17, pages 623-687, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    7. William Lord & Peter Rangazas, 2006. "Fertility and development: the roles of schooling and family production," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 229-261, September.
    8. C. Simon Fan, 2004. "Child Labor and the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 21-35, July.
    9. C. Simon Fan, 2004. "Child Labor and the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 71(1), pages 21-35, July.
    10. Dirk Krueger & Jessica Tjornhom Donohue, 2005. "On The Distributional Consequences Of Child Labor Legislation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(3), pages 785-815, August.
    11. C. Simon Fan, 2004. "Relative wage, child labor, and human capital," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 687-700, October.
    12. Galor, Oded, 2006. "Human Capital, Fertility and Growth," MPRA Paper 76649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Brezis, Elise S., 2010. "Can demographic transition only be explained by altruistic and neo-Malthusian models?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 233-240, April.
    14. Eric V. Edmonds, 2005. "Does Child Labor Decline with Improving Economic Status?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
    15. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M Stern, 2001. "Child Labor: Theory, Evidence, and Policy," Working Papers 474, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    16. Patrick M. Emerson & Shawn D. Knabb, 2013. "Bounded rationality, expectations, and child labour," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 46(3), pages 900-927, August.
    17. Giorgio Bellettini & Carlotta Berti Ceroni & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Child Labour and Resistance to Change," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(287), pages 397-411, August.
    18. Matthias Doepke, 2008. "Humankapital, politischer Wandel und langfristige Wirtschaftsentwicklung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(s1), pages 73-89, May.
    19. Boockmann, Bernhard, 2010. "The Effect of ILO Minimum Age Conventions on Child Labor and School Attendance: Evidence From Aggregate and Individual-Level Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 679-692, May.
    20. Mazzutti, Caio Cícero Toledo Piza da Costa, 2016. "Three essays on the causal impacts of child labour laws in Brazil," Economics PhD Theses 0616, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child labor;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:354. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cfrbmus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cfrbmus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.