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You Get What You Pay For: Schooling Incentives and Child Labor

  • Eric V. Edmonds
  • Maheshwor Shrestha

Can efforts to promote education deter child labor? We report on the findings of a field experiment where a conditional transfer incentivized the schooling of children associated with carpet factories in Nepal. We find that schooling increases and child involvement in carpet weaving decreases when schooling is incentivized. As a simple static labor supply model would predict, we observe that treated children resort to their counterfactual level of school attendance and carpet weaving when schooling is no longer incentivized. From a child labor policy perspective, our findings imply that "You get what you pay for" when schooling incentives are used to combat hazardous child labor.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19279.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Edmonds, Eric V. & Shrestha, Maheshwor, 2014. "You get what you pay for: Schooling incentives and child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 196-211.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19279
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