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Child Labor: A Microeconomic Perspective

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  • Nielsen, Helena Skyt

    (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

  • Dubey, Amaresh

    (Dept. of Economics)

Abstract

In an empirical microeconomic analysis that allows individual heterogeneity, we test four main hypotheses from the recent macroeconomic literature on child labor: the substitution, subsistence, capital market and parental education hypotheses. Using two rich Indian data sets, we find that the reduction in child labor and/or non-school-enrollment from 1987/88 to 1993/94 is closely associated with the increased household incomes. However, reduced capital constraints and improved literacy rates among the parent generation also play minor roles in increasing enrollment rates. A small counteracting effect comes from an increased need for and an increased value of substituting children for working household heads.

Suggested Citation

  • Nielsen, Helena Skyt & Dubey, Amaresh, 2001. "Child Labor: A Microeconomic Perspective," Working Papers 01-10, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2001_010
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
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    3. 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.
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    6. Shirit Katav-Herz, 2001. "Social Conformity and Child Labor," Working Papers 2001-14, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    7. Parsons, Donald O & Goldin, Claudia, 1989. "Parental Altruism and Self-Interest: Child Labor among Late Nineteenth-Century American Families," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(4), pages 637-659, October.
    8. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
    9. Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 1999. "Child labor and schooling in Africa : a comparative study," Social Protection Discussion Papers and Notes 20456, The World Bank.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child labor; Education; Substitution; Subsistence; Capital markets; Parental human capital; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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