Information and Communication Technologies, Agricultural Profitability, and Child Labor in Rural Peru
We estimate the impact of access to information and communication technologies on agricultural profitability and child labor among isolated villages in rural Peru. We exploit an intervention that provided at least one public (satellite) payphone to 6,509 rural villages that did not previously have any kind of communication services (either landlines or cell phones). We show that the timing of the intervention was uncorrelated with baseline outcomes and exploit it using a panel dataset of treated villages. Consistent with theoretical expectations, we find that profitability increased by 19.5 percent. Moreover, this income shock translated into a reduction in the likelihood of child market work of 13.7 percentage points and a reduction in child agricultural work of 9.2 percentage points. Overall, the evidence suggests a dominant income effect in the utilization of child labor.
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