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Does Promoting School Attendance Reduce Child Labour? Evidence from Burkina Faso’s Bright Project

Using data from BRIGHT, an integrated program that aims to improve school participation in rural communities in Burkina Faso, we investigate the impact of school subsidies and increased access to education on child work. Regression discontinuity estimates demonstrate that, while BRIGHT substantially improved school participation, it did not reduce – in fact may have increased - children’s participation in economic activities and household chores. This combination of increased school participation and work can be explained by the introduction of a simple non-convexity in the standard model of altruistic utility maximizing households. If education programs are implemented to achieve a combination of increased school participation and a reduction in child work they may either have to be combined with different interventions that effectively reduce child work or they may have to be tuned more carefully to the incentives and constraints the child laborer faces.

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Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 282.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 30 May 2013
Date of revision: 14 May 2014
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:282
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  1. Kathleen Beegle & Rajeev Dehejia & Roberta Gatti, 2004. "Why Should We Care About Child Labor? The Education, Labor Market, and Health Consequences of Child Labor," NBER Working Papers 10980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kazianga, Harounan & Levy, Dan & Linden, Leigh L. & Sloan, Matt, 2012. "The Effects of "Girl-Friendly" Schools: Evidence from the BRIGHT School Construction Program in Burkina Faso," IZA Discussion Papers 6574, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Alessandro Cigno, 2009. "The Economics of Child Labour," Chapters, in: Labor and Employment Law and Economics, chapter 14 Edward Elgar.
  4. Cameron, Lisa, 2009. "Can a public scholarship program successfully reduce school drop-outs in a time of economic crisis? Evidence from Indonesia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 308-317, June.
  5. Florence Kondylis & Marco Manacorda, 2012. "School Proximity and Child Labor: Evidence from Rural Tanzania," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(1), pages 32-63.
  6. Goulart, P. & Bedi, A.S., 2005. "Child labour and educational success in Portugal," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19174, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  7. Eric V. Edmonds, 2007. "Child Labor," NBER Working Papers 12926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  9. Tzannatos, Zafiris, 2003. "Child labor and school enrollment in Thailand in the 1990s," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 523-536, October.
  10. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
  11. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," NBER Working Papers 14723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. repec:mpr:mprres:6354 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 1999. "Does child labor displace schooling? - evidence on behavioral responses to an enrollment subsidy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2116, The World Bank.
  14. Kazianga, Harounan & de Walque, Damien & Alderman, Harold, 2009. "Educational and health impacts of two school feeding schemes : evidence from a randomized trial in rural Burkina Faso," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4976, The World Bank.
  15. repec:mpr:mprres:7836 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
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