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The Impact of Child Labor and School Quality on Academic Achievement in Brazil

Author

Listed:
  • Bezerra, Márcio Eduardo G.

    (University of Sao Paulo)

  • Kassouf, Ana Lucia

    () (University of Sao Paulo)

  • Arends-Kuenning, Mary P.

    () (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

We analyze the impact of child labor on school achievement using Brazilian school achievement test data from the 2003 Sistema Nacional de Avaliação da Educação Básica (SAEB). We control for the endogeneity of child labor using instrumental variable techniques, where the instrumental variable is the average wage for unskilled male labor in the state. Using our preferred OLS estimates, we find that child labor causes a loss in students' school achievement. Children and adolescents who do not work have better school performance than students who work. Up to two hours of work per day do not have a statistically significant effect on school performance, but additional hours decrease student's achievement. Differences in work conditions affect school performance. For high school students in Portuguese, compared to students who have schooling as their only activity, students who work only at home score 4 percent lower on the tests. Those students who only work outside the house are worse off than those who only work within the house, with test scores decreasing by 5 percent. Students who work both inside and outside the house have the lowest test scores of all the working conditions, decreasing by up to 7 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Bezerra, Márcio Eduardo G. & Kassouf, Ana Lucia & Arends-Kuenning, Mary P., 2009. "The Impact of Child Labor and School Quality on Academic Achievement in Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 4062, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4062
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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).
    5. L. Guarcello & S. Lyon, 2003. "Children's work and water access in Yemen," UCW Working Paper 53, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
    6. 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.
    7. repec:oup:wbecrv:v:30:y:2017:i:supplement_1:p:s137-s144. is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Scot,Thiago & Rodella,Aude-Sophie, 2016. "Sifting through the Data : labor markets in Haiti through a turbulent decade (2001-2012)," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7562, The World Bank.
    9. Caio Piza & André Portela Souza, 2017. "The Causal Impacts of Child Labor Law in Brazil: Some Preliminary Findings," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, pages 137-144.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    child labor; school achievement; Brazil;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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