IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/van/wpaper/0212.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Birth Order, Child Labor and School Attendance in Brazil

Author

Listed:
  • Patrick M. Emerson

    () (Department of Economics, University of Colorado at Denver)

  • Andre Portela Souza

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of birth order on the child labor incidence and school attendance of Brazilian children. Evidence from the psychology and sociology literature suggests that earlier-born children tend to have higher innate abilities. The economic implications of these findings are that earlier-born children may have more intra-household resources directed to them when they are young, and better outcomes as adults in areas such as education and earnings. However, in the context of child labor, the effects of birth order can be confounded by the fact that earlier born children are able to command higher wages than their younger siblings. Also, in the presence of capital constraints, poor families may not be able to afford to send their earlier born children to school, but may be able to send their later-born children due to the income earned by their older siblings. This paper presents both a theoretical discussion and an empirical investigation of the relationship between birth order and child labor. The results from the empirical investigation show that, in fact, male first-born children are less likely to attend school than their later born siblings and that male last-born children are less likely to work as child laborers than their earlier born siblings. For female children, first-borns are less likely to go to school than their later born counterparts. These findings are intriguing as they run counter to the received wisdom of the effects of birth order, but make sense when considering the child labor decision of poor families in the face of capital constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick M. Emerson & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "Birth Order, Child Labor and School Attendance in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0212, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0212
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu02-w12.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2002
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
    2. Kaushik Basu, 1999. "Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
    3. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Paul Schultz, T., 1987. "Fertility and investments in human capital : Estimates of the consequence of imperfect fertility control in Malaysia," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 163-184.
    4. Emerson, Patrick M & Souza, Andre Portela, 2003. "Is There a Child Labor Trap? Intergenerational Persistence of Child Labor in Brazil," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 375-398, January.
    5. de Janvry, Alain & Finan, Frederico & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Vakis, Renos, 2006. "Can conditional cash transfer programs serve as safety nets in keeping children at school and from working when exposed to shocks?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 349-373, April.
    6. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 143-162, August.
    7. Andrew W. Horowitz & Andre Portela Souza, 2004. "The Dispersion of Intra-Household Human Capital Across Children: A Measurement Strategy and Evidence," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0408, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    8. Patrick M. Emerson & Shawn D. Knabb, 2007. "Fiscal Policy, Expectation Traps, And Child Labor," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(3), pages 453-469, July.
    9. Horton, Susan, 1988. "Birth Order and Child Nutritional Status: Evidence from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 341-354, January.
    10. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1982. "Market Opportunities, Genetic Endowments, and Intrafamily Resource Distribution: Child Survival in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 803-815, September.
    11. André Portela Souza, 2007. "Child Labor, School Attendance, and Intrahousehold Gender Bias in Brazil," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 301-316, March.
    12. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
    13. Kessler, Daniel, 1991. "Birth Order, Family Size, and Achievement: Family Structure and Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 413-426, October.
    14. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "Birth Order, Schooling, and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 121-145, July.
    15. Kaushik Basu, 2006. "Gender and Say: a Model of Household Behaviour with Endogenously Determined Balance of Power," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 558-580, April.
    16. Horowitz, Andrew W. & Wang, Jian, 2004. "Favorite son? Specialized child laborers and students in poor LDC households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 631-642, April.
    17. Behrman, Jere R., 1988. "Nutrition, health, birth order and seasonality : Intrahousehold allocation among children in rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 43-62, February.
    18. 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.
    19. Rose, Elaina, 2000. "Gender Bias, Credit Constraints and Time Allocation in Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 738-758, July.
    20. Behrman, Jere R & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Taubman, Paul, 1994. "Endowments and the Allocation of Schooling in the Family and in the Marriage Market: The Twins Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1131-1174, December.
    21. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
    22. Luis Felipe López Calva, 2002. "A social stigma model of child labor," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 17(2), pages 193-217.
    23. Patrick M. Emerson & Shawn D. Knabb, 2006. "Opportunity, Inequality and the Intergenerational Transmission of Child Labour," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(291), pages 413-434, August.
    24. Ranjula Bali Swain, 2002. "Credit Rationing In Rural India," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 1-20, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child labor; school attendance; birth order; brazil;

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0212. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (John P. Conley). General contact details of provider: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.