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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. Carol Rogers & Kenneth A. Swinnerton, 2002. "A Theory of Exploitative Child Labor," Working Papers gueconwpa~02-02-03, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Basu, Kaushik, 2000. "The Intriguing Relation between Adult Minimum Wage and Child Labour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C50-61, March.
  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. & Pallage, Stephane, 2001. "Child labor and coordination failures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 469-476, August.
  5. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
  6. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, 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. Ranjan, Priya, 1999. "An economic analysis of child labor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 99-105, July.
  9. 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.
  10. Basu, Kaushik, 1998. "Child labor : cause, consequence, and cure, with remarks on International Labor Standards," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2027, The World Bank.
  11. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
  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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