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The Economics of Child Trafficking

Author

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  • Sylvain Dessy
  • Stéphane Pallage

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvain Dessy & Stéphane Pallage, 2003. "The Economics of Child Trafficking," Cahiers de recherche 0323, CIRPEE.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0323
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carol Ann Rogers & Kenneth A. Swinnerton, 2008. "A theory of exploitative child labor," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 20-41, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Basu, Kaushik, 2000. "The Intriguing Relation between Adult Minimum Wage and Child Labour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 50-61, March.
    4. Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Coulombe, Harold, 1997. "Child labor and schooling in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1844, The World Bank.
    5. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
    6. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
    7. Dessy, Sylvain & Pallage, Stéphane, 2001. "Why Banning the Worst Forms of Child Labour Would Hurt Poor Countries," Cahiers de recherche 0109, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
    8. 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.
    9. Dessy, Sylvain E. & Pallage, Stephane, 2001. "Child labor and coordination failures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 469-476, August.
    10. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
    11. Ranjan, Priya, 1999. "An economic analysis of child labor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 99-105, July.
    12. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carol Ann Rogers & Kenneth A. Swinnerton, 2008. "A theory of exploitative child labor," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 20-41, January.
    2. Caroline Orset, 2008. "A Theory of Child Protection against Kidnapping," Cahiers de recherche 0816, CIRPEE.
    3. Randall Akee & Arnab K. Basu & Arjun Bedi & Nancy H. Chau, 2014. "Transnational Trafficking, Law Enforcement, and Victim Protection: A Middleman Trafficker's Perspective," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 349-386.
    4. Khan, Rana Ejaz Ali & Jamal, Warda Najeeb, 2008. "Legislation for child labor and compulsory schooling in Pakistan: some issues," MPRA Paper 34429, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child labor; Exploitation; Poverty; Law enforcement; Trafficking;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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