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The Determinants of Rural Child Labor: An Application to India

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  • Congdon Fors, Heather

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

There are several factors that may contribute to the decision to send a child to work, such as poverty, market imperfections and parental preferences. The aim of this paper is to determine empirically the relative importance of these diverse factors on the incidence of child labor in rural India. In order to examine several potentially influential factors separately, we outline a theoretical model of child labor in a peasant household based on the model presented in Bhalotra and Heady (2003) with modifications to allow for the child to participate in different types of labor. We then use the theoretical model to specify and estimate an empirical model of rural child labor participation. Our results indicate that parental education and household income appear to play the most important role in determining whether a child works, attends school or is idle. Market imperfections, on the other hand, only play an important role in determining whether the child participates in family labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Congdon Fors, Heather, 2007. "The Determinants of Rural Child Labor: An Application to India," Working Papers in Economics 256, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0256
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/4588
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pham Hoang Van & Kaushik Basu, 1999. "The Economics of Child Labor: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1386-1388, December.
    2. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Basu, Kaushik, 2000. "The Intriguing Relation between Adult Minimum Wage and Child Labour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 50-61, March.
    5. Jayaraj, D. & Subramanian, S., 2005. "Out of School and (Probably) in Work: Child Labour and Capability Deprivation in India," WIDER Working Paper Series 055, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
    7. Sonia Bhalotra & Christopher Heady, 2003. "Child Farm Labor: The Wealth Paradox," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 197-227, December.
    8. Ranjan, Priya, 1999. "An economic analysis of child labor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 99-105, July.
    9. Dreze, Jean & Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2001. "School Participation in Rural India," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, February.
    10. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
    11. Basu, Kaushik & Ray, Ranjan, 2002. "The collective model of the household and an unexpected implication for child labor : hypothesis and an empirical test," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2813, The World Bank.
    12. Carol Rogers & Kenneth A. Swinnerton, 2001. "Inequality, Productivity, and Child Labor: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers gueconwpa~01-01-10, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    13. Carol Ann Rogers & Kenneth A. Swinnerton, 1999. "Inequality, Productivity, and Child Labor," Labor and Demography 9907003, EconWPA, revised 30 Jul 1999.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Heather Congdon Fors, 2012. "Child Labour: A Review Of Recent Theory And Evidence With Policy Implications," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 570-593, September.
    2. Ahmed, Syed Shujaat & Haider, Waqas & Khan, Dilawar, 2012. "Determinants of Child Labor in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: An Econometric Analysis," MPRA Paper 73526, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Samia Badji, 2016. "The Wealth Paradox for Whom? Child Labor and the Identification of Households Excluded from the Land and the Labor Markets in Madagascar," Working Papers halshs-01414530, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    child labor; school attendance; market imperfections; India;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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