Child Labour and Child Schooling in South Asia: A Cross Country Study of their Determinants
This study uses Nepalese data to estimate the impact of individual, household and cluster/community level variables on child labour and child schooling. The principal estimates are, then, compared with those from Bangladesh and Pakistan. The exercise is designed to identify effective policy instruments that could influence child labour and child schooling in South Asia. The results show that the impact of a variable on a child’s education/employment is, often, highly sensitive to the specification in the estimation and to the country considered. There are, however some results that are fairly robust. For example, in both Nepal and Pakistan, inequality has a strong U shaped impact on both child labour participation rates and child labour hours, thus, pointing to high inequality as a significant cause of child labour. In contrast, household poverty has only a weak link with child labour, though it seems to be more important in the context of child schooling. The current school attendance by a child has a large, negative impact on her labour hours, thus, pointing to compulsory schooling as an effective instrument in reducing child labour. Other potentially useful instruments include adult education levels, improvements in the schooling infrastructure, and the provision of amenities such as water and electricity in the villages.
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