Child Labor, Intra-Household Bargaining and Economic Growth
This paper develops a three-period, gender-based overlapping generations model of endogenous growth with endogenous intra-household bargaining and child labor in home production by girls. Improved access to infrastructure reduces the amount of time parents find optimal for their daughters to spend on household chores, thereby allowing them to allocate more time to studying at home. The model is calibrated for a low-income country and various quantitative experiments are conducted, including an increase in the share of public spending on infrastructure, an increase in time allocated by mothers to their daughters, and a decrease in fathers' preference for girls' education. Our analysis shows that poor access by families to infrastructure may provide an endogenous explanation, beyond social norms and cultural values, for the persistence in child labor at home and gender inequality in low-income countries.
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