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The Consequences of Child Market Work on the Growth of Human Capital

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  • Armand A Sim
  • Daniel Suryadarma
  • Asep Suryahadi

Abstract

Child labor is a phenomenon that has attracted a great amount of attention and research. Theoretical propositions suggest that child labor is inefficient if it adversely affects future earning ability. This paper contributes to the literature on the effects of child market work on human capital by focusing on the long-term growth in human capital, which is widely known to significantly affect earning ability. The paper also uses better measures of human capital by focusing on the output of the human capital production function: numeracy skills, cognitive skills, and pulmonary function. Using a rich longitudinal dataset on Indonesia, we find strong negative effects of child labor on the growth of both numeracy and cognitive skills in the next seven years. In addition, we find a strong and negative effect on pulmonary function as measured through lung capacity. Comparing the effects by gender and type of work, we find that female child workers suffer more adverse effects on mathematical skills growth, while male child workers experience much smaller growth in pulmonary function. We also find that child workers who work for pay outside the family bore worse effects compared to child workers who work in the family business.

Suggested Citation

  • Armand A Sim & Daniel Suryadarma & Asep Suryahadi, 2011. "The Consequences of Child Market Work on the Growth of Human Capital," Departmental Working Papers 2011-10, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2011-10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Ariane Utomo & Anna Reimondos & Iwu Utomo & Peter McDonald & Terence H. Hull, 2014. "What happens after you drop out? Transition to adulthood among early school-leavers in urban Indonesia," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(41), pages 1189-1218.
    3. Hidayatina, Achsanah & Garces-Ozanne, Arlene, 2019. "Can cash transfers mitigate child labour? Evidence from Indonesia’s cash transfer programme for poor students in Java," World Development Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 1-1.
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    5. Burrone, Sara & Giannelli, Gianna Claudia, 2019. "Does Child Labor Lead to Vulnerable Employment in Adulthood? Evidence for Tanzania," IZA Discussion Papers 12162, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    child labor; human capital; skills; health; Indonesia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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