The Economics of Child Trafficking
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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