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The Economics of Child Trafficking

  • Sylvain Dessy
  • Stéphane Pallage

In this paper, we highlight the economic effects of the existence of child trafficking. We show that the risk of child trafficking on the labor market acts as a deterrent to supply child labor, unless household survival is at stake. An imperfectly enforceable legislation aiming at fighting child trafficking, by raising the expected gains parents derive from sending their children to work, will cause a rise in the number of child laborers. We show that it can even cause the incidence of child trafficking to rise. Our findings are consistent with the view that the fight against child trafficking can only be won by effectively combining legislation with other policy measures, including better quality for education, redistribution, or appropriately targeted poverty alleviation programs.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0323.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0323
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  1. Sylvain E. Dessy & Désiré Vencatachellum, 2003. "Explaining cross-country differences in policy response to child labour," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(1), pages 1-20, February.
  2. Rogers Carol Ann & Swinnerton Kenneth A, 2005. "A Theory of Exploitative Child Labor," Labor and Demography 0510006, EconWPA.
  3. Ranjan, P., 1999. ""Credit Constraints and the Phenomenon of Child Labor"," Papers 98-99-12, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  4. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
  5. Basu, Kaushik, 1998. "Child labor : cause, consequence, and cure, with remarks on International Labor Standards," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2027, The World Bank.
  6. Sylvain Dessy & Stephane Pallage, 2001. "Why Banning the Worst Forms of Child Labour Would Hurt Poor Countries," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 135, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  7. Dessy, Sylvain E. & Pallage, Stephane, 2001. "Child labor and coordination failures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 469-476, August.
  8. Basu, Kaushik, 1999. "The intriguing relation between adult minimum wage and child labor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2173, The World Bank.
  9. Ranjan, Priya, 1999. "An economic analysis of child labor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 99-105, July.
  10. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
  11. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  12. Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Coulombe, Harold, 1997. "Child labor and schooling in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1844, The World Bank.
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