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How Does Child Labor Affect the Demand for Adult Labor? Evidence from Rural Mexico

Author

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  • Kirk Doran

    () (Department of Economics, University of Notre Dame)

Abstract

Do employers substitute adults for children, or do they treat them as complements? Using data from a Mexican schooling experiment, I find that decreasing child farm work is accompanied by increasing adult labor demand. This increase was not caused by treatment money reaching farm employers: there were no significant increases in harvest prices and quantities, non-labor inputs, or non-farm labor supply. Furthermore, coordinated movements in price and quantity can distinguish this increase in demand from changes in supply induced by the treatment's income effects. Thus, declining child supply caused increasing adult demand: employers substituted adults for children.

Suggested Citation

  • Kirk Doran, 2012. "How Does Child Labor Affect the Demand for Adult Labor? Evidence from Rural Mexico," Working Papers 016, University of Notre Dame, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:nod:wpaper:016
    as

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    File URL: http://www3.nd.edu/~tjohns20/RePEc/deendus/wpaper/016_child.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2012
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Emmanuel Skoufias & Susan Wendy Parker, 2001. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Their Impact on Child Work and Schooling: Evidence from the PROGRESA Program in Mexico," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2001), pages 45-96, August.
    2. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
    3. Ranjan Ray, 2000. "Analysis of child labour in Peru and Pakistan: A comparative study," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(1), pages 3-19.
    4. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x, May.
    5. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
    6. Angelucci, Manuela & De Giorgi, Giacomo, 2006. "Indirect Effects of an Aid Program: The Case of Progresa and Consumption," IZA Discussion Papers 1955, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Prashant Bharadwaj & Leah K. Lakdawala & Nicholas Li, 2013. "Perverse Consequences of Well Intentioned Regulation: Evidence from India's Child Labor Ban," NBER Working Papers 19602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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