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Is Child Labor Harmful? The Impact of Working Earlier in Life on Adult Earnings

Author

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  • Emerson, Patrick M.

    () (Oregon State University)

  • Portela Souza, André

    () (Sao Paulo School of Economics)

Abstract

This paper explores the question: is working as a child harmful to an individual in terms of adult outcomes in earnings? Though an extremely important question, little is known about the effect of child labor on adult outcomes. Estimations of an instrumental variables earnings model on data from Brazil show that child labor has a large negative impact on adult earnings for male children even when controlling for schooling and that the negative impact of starting to work as a child reverses at around ages 12-14.

Suggested Citation

  • Emerson, Patrick M. & Portela Souza, André, 2007. "Is Child Labor Harmful? The Impact of Working Earlier in Life on Adult Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 3027, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3027
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    Cited by:

    1. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Putnick, Diane L. & Bornstein, Marc H., 2015. "Is child labor a barrier to school enrollment in low- and middle-income countries?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 112-120.
    3. Vladimir Ponczek & Andre Portela Souza, 2012. "New Evidence of the Causal Effect of Family Size on Child Quality in a Developing Country," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(1), pages 64-106.
    4. repec:eee:joecag:v:3:y:2014:i:c:p:58-70 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eme:rleczz:s0147-912120140000040007 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Tsukada, Raquel, 2011. "The First Born Burden," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 77, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    7. Mauricio Moura & Rodrigo Bueno, 2014. "The Effect of Land Title on Child Labor Supply: Empirical Evidence from Brazil," Research in Labor Economics,in: Factors Affecting Worker Well-being: The Impact of Change in the Labor Market, volume 40, pages 195-222 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    8. Vimefall, Elin, 2011. "What determines which children work? Empirical evidence from Kenya," Working Papers 2011:3, Örebro University, School of Business.
    9. Landmann, Andreas & Frölich, Markus, 2015. "Can health-insurance help prevent child labor? An impact evaluation from Pakistan," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 51-59.
    10. Orazem, Peter F. & King, Elizabeth M., 2008. "Schooling in Developing Countries: The Roles of Supply, Demand and Government Policy," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    11. Landmann, Andreas & Frölich, Markus, 2013. "Can Microinsurance Help Prevent Child Labor? An Impact Evaluation from Pakistan," IZA Discussion Papers 7337, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. repec:eee:ecmode:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:465-472 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. De Paoli, Anna & Mendola, Mariapia, 2014. "International Labor Mobility and Child Work in Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 8066, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Ponczek, Vladimir Pinheiro & Souza, André Portela Fernandes de, 2007. "The causal effect of family size on child labor and education," Textos para discussão 162, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    15. Piza, Caio & Souza, André Portela Fernandes de, 2016. "Short and long-term effects of a child-labor ban," Textos para discussão 428, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    16. Mazzutti, Caio Cícero Toledo Piza da Costa, 2016. "Three essays on the causal impacts of child labour laws in Brazil," Economics PhD Theses 0616, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    17. Marcio Gold Firmo & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2011. "Uma Análise Da Transmissãointergeracional De Capital Humano No Brasil," Anais do XXXVIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 38th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 228, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    18. Emerson, Patrick M. & McGough, Bruce, 2011. "Learning about Education," IZA Discussion Papers 5756, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev H. & Gatti, Roberta & Krutikova, Sofya, 2008. "The consequences of child labor : evidence from longitudinal data in rural Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4677, The World Bank.
    20. Connie Bayudan-Dacuycuy & Lawrence Dacuycuy, 2013. "Is schooling forever doomed with child labor around? An analysis using Philippine time use data," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 138-151.
    21. Sebastian Braun, 2006. "Core Labour Standards and FDI: Friends or Foes? The Case of Child Labour," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 142(4), pages 765-791, December.
    22. Anna De Paoli & Mariapia Mendola, 2014. "International Labor Mobility and Child Work in Developing Countries," Development Working Papers 365, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 07 Apr 2014.
    23. Alam, Shamma Adeeb, 2015. "Parental health shocks, child labor and educational outcomes: Evidence from Tanzania," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 161-175.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    adult outcomes; Brazil; child labor;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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