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Liquidity Constraint and Child Labor In India: Is Market Really Incapable Of Eradicating It From Wage-Labor Households?

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  • Basab Dasgupta

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

One way to measure the lower steady state equilibrium outcome in human capital development is the incidence of child labor in most of the developing countries. With the help of Indian household level data in an overlapping generation framework, we show that production loans under credit rationing are not optimally extended towards firms because of issues with adverse selection. More stringent rationing in the credit market creates a distortion in the labor market by increasing adult wage rate and the demand for child labor. Lower availability of funds under stringent rationing coupled with increased demand for loans induces the high risk firms to replace adult labor by child labor. A switch of regime from credit rationing to revelation regime can clear such imperfections in the labor market. The equilibrium higher wage rate elevates the household consumption to a significantly higher level than the subsistence under credit rationing and therefore higher level of human capital development is assured leading to no supply of child labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Basab Dasgupta, 2005. "Liquidity Constraint and Child Labor In India: Is Market Really Incapable Of Eradicating It From Wage-Labor Households?," Working papers 2005-37, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2005-37
    Note: I am really grateful to my advisors, Christian Zimmermann and Steven Ross for their guidance and valuable comments and to Prof. Samar K. Datta, IIMA, India for his help. Usual disclaimer applies.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ranjan, Priya, 2001. "Credit constraints and the phenomenon of child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 81-102, February.
    2. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C., 2000. "Why do Indian Children Work, and is it Bad for Them?," IZA Discussion Papers 115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
    4. Pallage, Stephane & Zimmermann, Christian, 2007. "Buying out child labor," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 75-90, March.
    5. Lorenzo Guarcello & Fabrizia Mealli & Furio Rosati, 2010. "Household vulnerability and child labor: the effect of shocks, credit rationing, and insurance," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 169-198, January.
    6. Kaushik Basu & Zafiris Tzannatos, 2003. "The Global Child Labor Problem: What Do We Know and What Can We Do?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 147-173, December.
    7. David de Meza & David C. Webb, 1987. "Too Much Investment: A Problem of Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 281-292.
    8. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 450-477, June.
    9. Floro, Maria Sagrario & Ray, Debraj, 1997. "Vertical Links between Formal and Informal Financial Institutions," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 34-56, February.
    10. John Fender & Ping Wang, 2003. "Educational Policy in a Credit Constrained Economy with Skill Heterogeneity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 939-964, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit Rationing; Informal Credit; Child Labor; Self Revelation Mechanism;

    JEL classification:

    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy

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