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Parental Attitudes toward Children and Child Labor: Evidence from Rural India


  • Shunsuke Sakamoto


This paper empirically investigates the determinants of child labor in rural India using household survey data. While a growing number of empirical studies have shown that child labor in developing countries is associated with a variety of factors, such as household poverty, low parental educational attainment, and the absence of schools, this study pays particular attention to parents' attitudes toward children in the household as a crucial determinant of child labor. In order to examine the role of parental attitudes, we estimate a probit model, controlling for individual, household, and community characteristics, and find that children are more likely to work if their parents show less concern for them. We also show that children are more likely to work if their father has greater bargaining power in the household than their mother. Moreover, the results indicate that the incidence of child labor is positively associated with household poverty. These findings suggest that in order to reduce or eliminate child labor, the government should implement policies to address the various factors causing child labor, such as parents' lack of concern for their children, imbalances in the power structure within households, and household poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Shunsuke Sakamoto, 2006. "Parental Attitudes toward Children and Child Labor: Evidence from Rural India," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d05-136, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hst:hstdps:d05-136

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    Cited by:

    1. Fuwa Nobuhiko & Ito Seiro & Kubo Kensuke & Kurosaki Takashi & Sawada Yasuyuki, 2012. "How Does Credit Access Affect Children's Time Allocation?: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-28, June.
    2. Sharmistha Self & Richard Grabowski, 2009. "Agricultural technology and child labor: evidence from India," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(1), pages 67-78, January.

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