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Telecommunications Technologies, Agricultural Profitability, and Child Labor in Rural Peru

Author

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  • Beuermann, Diether W.

    () (Department of Economics, University of Maryland)

Abstract

This paper provides evidence on the effects of access to telecommunications technologies on agricultural profitability and human capital investment decisions among highly isolated villages in rural Peru. I exploit a quasi-natural experiment, in which the Peruvian government through the Fund for Investments in Telecommunications (FITEL) provided at least one public (satellite) payphone to 6,509 rural villages that did not previously have any kind of communication services (either landlines or cell phones). The intervention provided these phones mainly between years 2001 and 2004. I show that the timing of the intervention was uncorrelated with baseline outcomes and exploit differences in timing using a uniquely constructed (unbalanced) panel of treated villages spanning the years 1997 through 2007. The main findings suggest that phone access generated increases of 16 percent in the value per kilogram received by farmers for their agricultural production, and a 23.7 percent reduction in agricultural costs. Moreover, this income shock translated into a reduction in child (6 – 13 years old) market work of 13.7 percentage points and a reduction in child agricultural work of 9.2 percentage points. Overall, the evidence suggests a dominant income effect in the utilization of child labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Beuermann, Diether W., 2011. "Telecommunications Technologies, Agricultural Profitability, and Child Labor in Rural Peru," Working Papers 2011-002, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
  • Handle: RePEc:rbp:wpaper:2011-002
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    File URL: http://www.bcrp.gob.pe/docs/Publicaciones/Documentos-de-Trabajo/2011/Documento-de-Trabajo-02-2011.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kruger, Diana I., 2007. "Coffee production effects on child labor and schooling in rural Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 448-463, March.
    2. Jeffrey R. Brown & Austan Goolsbee, 2002. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive? Evidence from the Life Insurance Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 481-507, June.
    3. Aparajita Goyal, 2010. "Information, Direct Access to Farmers, and Rural Market Performance in Central India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 22-45, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Adriana Camacho & Emily Conover & econover@hamilton.edu, 2010. "The Impact of Receiving Price and Climate Information in the Agricultural Sector," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 007907, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    2. Salas Garcia, Vania B. & Fan, Qin, 2015. "Information Access and Smallholder Farmers’ Selling Decisions in Peru," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205380, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Telecommunications Technologies; Peru; Child Labor;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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