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Why is Child Labor Illegal?

  • Dessy, Sylvain
  • Knowles, John

We argue from an empirical analysis of Latin-American household surveys that per capita income in the country of residence has a negative effect on child labor supply, even after controlling for other household characteristics. We then develop a theory of the emergence of mandatory-education laws. If parents are unable to commit to educating their children, child-labor laws can increase the welfare of altruistic parents in an ex ante sense. The theory suggest that measures that reduce child wages can make poor families better off, but that this may come at the expense of even poorer families.

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File URL: http://www.ecn.ulaval.ca/w3/recherche/cahiers/2001/0110.pdf
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Paper provided by Université Laval - Département d'économique in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0110.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:laeccr:0110
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  4. Christopher Harris & David Laibson, 1999. "Dynamic Choices of Hyperbolic Consumers," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1886, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  8. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Evenson, Robert E, 1977. "Fertility, Schooling, and the Economic Contribution of Children in Rural India: An Econometric Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1065-79, July.
  9. Behrman, Jere R & Sengupta, Piyali & Todd, Petra, 2005. "Progressing through PROGRESA: An Impact Assessment of a School Subsidy Experiment in Rural Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 237-75, October.
  10. Eckstein, Zvi & Zilcha, Itzhak, 1994. "The effects of compulsory schooling on growth, income distribution and welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 339-359, July.
  11. Basu, Kaushik, 1998. "Child labor : cause, consequence, and cure, with remarks on International Labor Standards," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2027, The World Bank.
  12. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  13. Fang, Hanming & Silverman, Dan, 2004. "On the compassion of time-limited welfare programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1445-1470, July.
  14. Per Krusell & Anthony A Smith, Jr., 2001. "Consumption Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000251, David K. Levine.
  15. Glomm, Gerhard, 1997. "Parental choice of human capital investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 99-114, June.
  16. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1492-1524, December.
  17. Karine S. Moe, 1998. "Fertility, Time Use, and Economic Development," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 699-718, July.
  18. Dahan, Momi & Gaviria, Alejandro, 2001. "Sibling Correlations and Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(3), pages 537-54, April.
  19. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  21. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  22. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
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