Local labor demand and child labor
This paper uses micro data from the Brazilian PNAD between 1981 and 2002 to ascertain the role that local labor demand – proxied by male adult employment in the area of residence - plays in shaping the work and schooling decisions of children aged 10-15. Contrary to the widespread view that child labor is procyclical, we find evidence that employment (schooling) falls (increases) among young children (aged 10-12) when local labor demand is stronger. This result is consistent with the view that children's work is to a large extent the result of poverty, and that parents want to protect their children from child labor and do so if offered the opportunity.
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