IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Measuring child labor: Comparisons between hours data and subjective measures


  • Dillon, Andrew


"This paper examines a subjective measure of child labor as an alternative to hours data for eliciting the distribution of children's time between work, school, and leisure. The subjective child labor questions that were developed have two primary advantages. First, the subjective measures avoid proxy respondent bias in child labor reports made by parents in a standard hours module. Second, the subjective child labor module scales responses to elicit the relative distribution of the shares of children's time without relying on hours data which are prone to severe outlier problems. Adult, proxy respondents are found to produce uniformly lower reports of children's time allocated to work and school than the child's own subjective responses. Conditional labor supply functions are also estimated to examine the marginal effects of child, parent, household and school characteristics between the two types of data. Children's subjective responses are found to increase the magnitude of the marginal effects for child's age, parental education, and school availability with limited differences between household composition and asset variables." from authors' abstract

Suggested Citation

  • Dillon, Andrew, 2009. "Measuring child labor: Comparisons between hours data and subjective measures," IFPRI discussion papers 879, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:879

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 143-162, August.
    3. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
    4. Dillon, Andrew, 2008. "Child labor and schooling responses to production and health shocks in northern Mali:," IFPRI discussion papers 755, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. de Janvry, Alain & Fafchamps, Marcel & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1991. "Peasant Household Behaviour with Missing Markets: Some Paradoxes Explained," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1400-1417, November.
    6. Lybbert, Travis J. & Barrett, Christopher B. & McPeak, John G. & Luseno, Winnie K., 2007. "Bayesian Herders: Updating of Rainfall Beliefs in Response to External Forecasts," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 480-497, March.
    7. Ucw, 2011. "Understanding the Brazilian success in reducing child labour: empirical evidence and policy lessons. Drawing policy lessons from the Brazilian experience," UCW Working Paper 55, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
    8. Mellow, Wesley & Sider, Hal, 1983. "Accuracy of Response in Labor Market Surveys: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 331-344, October.
    9. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio Camillo, 2005. "The Economics of Child Labour," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199264452.
    10. Dumas, Christelle. & Lambert, Sylvie., 2006. "Trajectoires de scolarisation et de travail des enfants au Sénégal," ILO Working Papers 993907603402676, International Labour Organization.
    11. repec:ilo:ilowps:390760 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Shadow Prices, Market Wages, and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(4), pages 679-694, July.
    13. Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1977. "The Demand for Children in Farm Households," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 123-146, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Dammert, Ana C. & Galdo, Jose, 2013. "Child Labor Variation by Type of Respondent: Evidence from a Large-Scale Study," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 207-220.
    2. F. Blanco & C. A. Valdivia, 2006. "Child labour in Venezuela: children's vulnerability to macroeconomic shocks," UCW Working Paper 52, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).

    More about this item


    Child labor; Questionnaire design; Development strategies; Childcare and work; Gender;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:fpr:ifprid:879. 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: .

    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 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.

    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.