IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp3027.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Author

Listed:
  • 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3027
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp3027.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lam, David & Schoeni, Robert F, 1993. "Effects of Family Background on Earnings and Returns to Schooling: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 710-740, August.
    2. Eric V. Edmonds & Nina Pavcnik, 2005. "Child Labor in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 199-220, Winter.
    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. Stephen V. Cameron & Christopher Taber, 2004. "Estimation of Educational Borrowing Constraints Using Returns to Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 132-182, February.
    5. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post--secondary Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 705-734, October.
    6. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
    7. Barry R. Chiswick, 1974. "Income Inequality: Regional Analyses within a Human Capital Framework," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number chis74-1, October.
    8. Maurin, Eric, 2002. "The impact of parental income on early schooling transitions: A re-examination using data over three generations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 301-332, September.
    9. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Horowitz, Andrew W. & Wang, Jian, 2004. "Favorite son? Specialized child laborers and students in poor LDC households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 631-642, April.
    11. Kathleen Beegle & Rajeev Dehejia & Roberta Gatti, 2009. "Why Should We Care About Child Labor?: The Education, Labor Market, and Health Consequences of Child Labor," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
    12. 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.
    13. Hideo Akabayashi & George Psacharopoulos, 1999. "The trade-off between child labour and human capital formation: A Tanzanian case study," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(5), pages 120-140.
    14. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
    15. O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    16. Marco Manacorda, 2006. "Child Labor and the Labor Supply of Other Household Members: Evidence from 1920 America," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1788-1801, December.
    17. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
    18. Duflo, Esther, 2004. "The medium run effects of educational expansion: evidence from a large school construction program in Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 163-197, June.
    19. David Lam & Suzanne Duryea, 1999. "Effects of Schooling on Fertility, Labor Supply, and Investments in Children, with Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 160-192.
    20. Patrick M. Emerson & Shawn D. Knabb, 2007. "Fiscal Policy, Expectation Traps, And Child Labor," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(3), pages 453-469, July.
    21. Shea, John, 2000. "Does parents' money matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 155-184, August.
    22. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, October.
    23. repec:idb:wpaper:376 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Douglas L. Kruse & Douglas Mahony, 2000. "Illegal Child Labor in the United States: Prevalence and Characteristics," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(1), pages 17-40, October.
    25. Basu, Kaushik, 2002. "A note on multiple general equilibria with child labor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 301-308, February.
    26. 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.
    27. Kaushik Basu & Zafiris Tzannatos, 2003. "The Global Child Labor Problem: What Do We Know and What Can We Do?," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 147-173, December.
    28. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 261-276, May.
    29. Dessy, Sylvain E. & Pallage, Stephane, 2001. "Child labor and coordination failures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 469-476, August.
    30. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
    31. Suzanne Duryea, 1998. "Children's Advancement Through School in Brazil: The Role of Transitory Shocks to Household Income," Research Department Publications 4124, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    32. Emerson, Patrick M & Souza, Andre Portela, 2003. "Is There a Child Labor Trap? Intergenerational Persistence of Child Labor in Brazil," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 375-398, January.
    33. George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
    34. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-1160, September.
    35. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling and Earnings," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 41-63, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    36. Griliches, Zvi, 1977. "Estimating the Returns to Schooling: Some Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, January.
    37. Suzanne Duryea, 1998. "Children's Advancement Through School in Brazil: The Role of Transitory Shocks to Household Income," Research Department Publications 4124, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    38. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 2001. "The Effect of Parental Transfers and Borrowing Constraints on Educational Attainment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1051-1103, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2009. "The Effects of Multinational Production on Wages and Working Conditions in Developing Countries," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Globalization And International Trade Policies, chapter 17, pages 623-687, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Emanuela di Gropello, 2006. "Meeting the Challenges of Secondary Education in Latin America and East Asia : Improving Efficiency and Resource Mobilization," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 7173, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Fabre, Alice & Pallage, Stéphane, 2015. "Child labor, idiosyncratic shocks, and social policy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 394-411.
    5. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, in: T. Paul Schultz & John A. Strauss (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 57, pages 3607-3709, Elsevier.
    6. Ross Levine & Yona Rubinstein, 2013. "Liberty for More: Finance and Educational Opportunities," NBER Working Papers 19380, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. World Bank, 2001. "Brazil : Eradicating Child Labor in Brazil," World Bank Publications - Reports 15465, The World Bank Group.
    8. Patrick M. Emerson & Vladimir Ponczek & André Portela Souza, 2017. "Child Labor and Learning," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(2), pages 265-296.
    9. Ge, Suqin, 2013. "Estimating the returns to schooling: Implications from a dynamic discrete choice model," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 92-105.
    10. Mussa, Essa Chanie & Mirzabaev, Alisher & Admassie, Assefa & Nshakira-Rukundo, Emmanuel & von Braun, Joachim, 2019. "Does childhood work impede long-term human capital accumulation? Empirical evidence from rural Ethiopia," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 234-246.
    11. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Han Phoumin, 2008. "Human Capital and Hours Worked of Children in Cambodia: Empirical Evidence for Policy Implications," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 25-46, March.
    13. Nadeem Ilahi & Peter F. Orazem & Guilherme Sedlacek, 2009. "How Does Working as a Child Affect Wages, Income, and Poverty as an Adult?," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Peter F. Orazem & Guilherme Sedlacek & Zafiris Tzannatos (ed.), Child Labor and Education in Latin America, chapter 5, pages 87-101, Palgrave Macmillan.
    14. Bhuller, Manudeep & Mogstad, Magne & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2011. "Life-Cycle Bias and the Returns to Schooling in Current and Lifetime Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 5788, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Jean-Pierre Lachaud, 2008. "Le travail des enfants et la pauvreté en Afrique : un réexamen appliqué au Burkina Faso," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 0(5), pages 47-65.
    16. Han PHOUMIN & Seiichi FUKUI, 2006. "Cambodian Child's Wage Rate, Human Capital and Hours Worked Trade-off: Simple Theoretical and Empirical Evidence for Policy Implications," GSICS Working Paper Series 6, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University.
    17. 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 Business School.
    18. Iversen, Jens & Malchow-Møller, Nikolaj & Sørensen, Anders, 2009. "Entrepreneurial human capital," Discussion Papers on Economics 4/2009, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Economics.
    19. Caio Piza & André Portela Souza, 2017. "The Causal Impacts of Child Labor Law in Brazil: Some Preliminary Findings," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 30(Supplemen), pages 137-144.
    20. Lee, Jieun & Kim, Hyoungjong & Rhee, Dong-Eun, 2021. "No harmless child labor: The effect of child labor on academic achievement in francophone Western and Central Africa," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    adult outcomes; Brazil; child labor;
    All these keywords.

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3027. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.