Illegal Child Labor in the United States: Prevalence and Characteristics
This study provides the first comprehensive estimates of children and youth working under conditions that violate federal and state child labor laws. Using the CPS, NLS, and other sources, it is estimated that 148,000 minors are employed illegally in an average week working too many hours or in hazardous occupations and 290,000 are employed illegally at some point during a year. The total number of hours worked illegally is about 113 million per year, for which these minors are paid over $560 million. Whites, males, and 15-year-olds are the most likely to be working in violation of child labor laws. Youths working illegally in hazardous jobs earn on average $1.38 per hour less than legal young adults in the same occupations, which combined with the savings from employing youths for excessive hours adds up to a total employer cost savings of roughly $155 million per year. In addition to raising important policy concerns about the health and well-being of these youths, the findings make a case for the development of high-quality employment data on children and youths, to improve estimates of illegal employment and study its effects.
|Date of creation:||Mar 1998|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Kruse, Douglas L. and Douglas Mahony. "Illegal Child Labor In The United States: Prevalence And Characteristics," International Labor Relations Review, 2000, v54(1,Oct), 17-40.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Parsons, Donald O & Goldin, Claudia, 1989. "Parental Altruism and Self-Interest: Child Labor among Late Nineteenth-Century American Families," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(4), pages 637-59, October.
- Holleran Philip M., 1993. "Child Labor and Exploitation in Turn-of-the-Century Cotton Mills," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 485-500, October.
- Richard B. Freeman & James L. Medoff, 1982. "Why Does the Rate of Youth Labor Force Activity Differ across Surveys?," NBER Chapters, in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 75-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kathleen Stanley, 1992. "Immigrant and Refugee Workers in the Midwestern Meatpacking Industry: Industrial Restructuring and the Transformation of Rural Labor Markets," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 11(2), pages 106-117, 06.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6479. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.