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The Impact of Minimum Age of Employment Regulation on Child Labor and Schooling: Evidence from UNICEF MICS Countries


  • Eric V. Edmonds
  • Maheshwor Shrestha


Promoting minimum age of employment regulation has been a centerpiece in child labor policy for the last 15 years. If enforced, minimum age regulation would change the age profile of paid child employment. Using micro-data from 59 mostly low-income countries, we observe that age can explain less than 1 percent of the variation in child participation in paid employment. In contrast, child-invariant household attributes account for 63 percent of the variation in participation in paid employment. While age may explain little of the variation in paid employment, minimum age of employment regulation could simultaneously impact time allocation. We do not observe evidence consistent with enforcement of minimum age regulation in any country examined, although light work regulation appears to have been enforced in one country.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric V. Edmonds & Maheshwor Shrestha, 2012. "The Impact of Minimum Age of Employment Regulation on Child Labor and Schooling: Evidence from UNICEF MICS Countries," NBER Working Papers 18623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18623
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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Bargain & Delphine Boutin, 2017. "Minimum Age Regulation and Child Labor: New Evidence from Brazil," Working Papers hal-01629988, HAL.
    2. Eric V. Edmonds, 2014. "Does minimum age of employment regulation reduce child labor?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-73, July.
    3. Piza, Caio & Souza, André Portela Fernandes de, 2016. "Short and long-term effects of a child-labor ban," Textos para discussão 428, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J80 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - General

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