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Addressing social desirability bias in child labor measurement : an application to cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire


  • Marine JOUVIN


This paper proposes new estimates of the prevalence of child labor in Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa farms that are certi?ed free of child labor. We rely on list experiments to avoid issues of social desirability bias associated with measuring sensitive issues, that we implement on a sample of 4 458 Ivorian cocoa farmers. We ?nd that 24% of them were helped by a child under 16 for harvesting and breaking the cocoa pods during the past 12 months, 21% for preparing their farm, and 25% employed and paid a child to perform any task on their cocoa farm. These results are twice as high as those declared by farmers when directly questioning them on their child labour use. Last, we show that the prevalence of child labor is higher for farms that are more remote, in line with limited school opportunities for children, lower adult labor supply, and weaker law enforcement capacity related to the reliance on children for farm activities. While child labor has been given considerable attention over recent years by most actors of the cocoa value chain, this paper shows that further progress can still be accomplished, particularly amongst the most remote farming communities.

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  • Marine JOUVIN, 2021. "Addressing social desirability bias in child labor measurement : an application to cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire," Bordeaux Economics Working Papers 2021-08, Bordeaux School of Economics (BSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:grt:bdxewp:2021-08

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    More about this item


    List experiment; social desirability bias; child labor; certification schemes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions

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