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Poverty and Child Farm Labor in Africa: Wealth Paradox or bad Orthodoxy

  • Nkamleu, Guy Blaise

The link between poverty and child labor has traditionally been regarded as well established but recent researches have questioned its validity, suggesting that child labor is more important in the richest households (wealth paradox). The present study revisits the link between poverty and farm child labor in Africa and aims at testing the paradoxical wealth effect. Using different modeling techniques, the analysis focuses on family-controlled child labor taking place in the cocoa sector of Côte d’Ivoire. The results reveal that the effect of different commonly used wealth proxies have opposite effects on child labor participation and are sometimes sensitive to the modeling technique. This mixed result is the root of the apparent wealth paradox found in the literature. However, relevant and robust wealth proxies clearly indicate a positive relationship between poverty and child labor. The study therefore sustains that the apparent wealth paradox found in the literature is the end result of a bad orthodoxy.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15105.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Publication status: Published in African Journal of Economic Policy 1.13(2006): pp. 1-24
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15105
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  1. Blunch, Niels-Hugo & Verner, Dorte, 2000. "Revisiting the link between poverty and child labor - the Ghanaian experience," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2488, The World Bank.
  2. Kebede, Yohannes & Gunjal, Kisan & Coffin, Garth, 1990. "Adoption of New Technologies in Ethiopian Agriculture: The Case of Tegulet-Bulga District, Shoa Province," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 4(1), April.
  3. Sonia Bhalotra & Christopher Heady, 2003. "Child Farm Labor: The Wealth Paradox," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 197-227, December.
  4. Heady, Christopher, 2003. "The Effect of Child Labor on Learning Achievement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 385-398, February.
  5. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1981. "Qualitative Response Models: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 1483-1536, December.
  6. Anne Case & Christina Paxson & Joseph Ableidinger, 2002. "Orphans in Africa," NBER Working Papers 9213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Grootaert, Christiaan & Kanbur, Ravi, 1995. "Child labor : a review," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1454, The World Bank.
  8. Kaushik Basu, 2003. "Analytical Development Economics: The Less Developed Economy Revisited," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262523442, June.
  9. Nkamleu, G. B. & Adesina, A. A., 2000. "Determinants of chemical input use in peri-urban lowland systems: bivariate probit analysis in Cameroon," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 111-121, February.
  10. Guy B. Nkamleu & Anne Kielland, 2006. "Modeling farmers' decisions on child labor and schooling in the cocoa sector: a multinomial logit analysis in C�te d'Ivoire," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(3), pages 319-333, November.
  11. Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Coulombe, Harold, 1997. "Child labor and schooling in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1844, The World Bank.
  12. Kebede, Yohannes & Gunjal, Kisan & Coffin, Garth, 1990. "Adoption of new technologies in Ethiopian agriculture: The case of Tegulet-Bulga district Shoa province," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 27-43, April.
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