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The Role of Poverty and Community Norms in Child Labor and Schooling Decisions

Listed author(s):
  • Strulik, Holger

Household poverty is a powerful motive for child labor and working frequently comes at the expense of schooling for children. Accounting for these natural links we investigate whether and when there is an additional role for community norms and how the social evaluation of schooling evolves over time. The proposed model provides an explanation for why equally poor villages or regions display different attitudes towards schooling and why children who are not working are not sent to school either but remain idle instead. The conditions for a successful implementation of a half-day school vs. a full-day school are investigated. An extension of the model explores how an education contingent subsidy paid to the poorest families of a community manages to initiate a bandwagon effect towards an equilibrium where all children are sent to school.

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File URL: http://diskussionspapiere.wiwi.uni-hannover.de/pdf_bib/dp-383.pdf
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Paper provided by Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät in its series Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) with number dp-383.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-383
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  1. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
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  19. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2001. "Social Approval, Values, and AFDC: A Reexamination of the Illegitimacy Debate," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 637-666, June.
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  22. Rubiana Chamarbagwala, 2009. "Social interactions, spatial dependence, and children's activities: evidence from India," Journal of Developing Areas, Tennessee State University, College of Business, vol. 42(2), pages 157-178, January-M.
  23. Emmanuel Skoufias & Susan Wendy Parker, 2001. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Their Impact on Child Work and Schooling: Evidence from the PROGRESA Program in Mexico," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2001), pages 45-96, August.
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