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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. repec:mpr:mprres:6354 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Edmonds, Eric V., 2007. "Child Labor," IZA Discussion Papers 2606, 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.
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  6. 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.
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  8. Harounan Kazianga & Dan Levy & Leigh L. Linden, & Matt Sloan, 2012. "The Effects of "Girl-Friendly" Schools: Evidence from the BRIGHT School Construction Program in Burkina Faso," Economics Working Paper Series 1202, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
  9. Goulart, Pedro & Bedi, Arjun S., 2008. "Child labour and educational success in Portugal," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 575-587, October.
  10. 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.
  11. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C158-75, March.
  12. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev & Gatti, Roberta, 2005. "Why should we care about child labor? The education, labor market, and health consequences of child labor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3479, The World Bank.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
  16. 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.
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