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Bargaining over Sons and Daughters: Child Labor, School Attendance and Intra-Household Gender Bias in Brazil

  • Patrick M. Emerson


    (Department of Economics, University of Colorado at Denver)

  • Andre Portela Souza


    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

In this paper we examine intra-household gender differences and the incidence of child labor and children�s school attendance in Brazil to test whether the unitary model of household allocations is suitable in the child labor context. We begin by building an intra-household allocation model where fathers and mothers may affect the education investment and the child labor participation of their sons and daughters differently due to differences in the children's human capital technologies and/or differences in parental preferences. Using the 1996 Brazilian Household Survey, we estimate the impact of a parent�s education, non-labor income and child labor experience on the labor market status and school attendance of their sons and daughters separately. We find that, for children�s labor status, the father�s education, non-labor income and the age at which he first began working in the labor market has a greater impact on the labor status of sons than of daughters, while the opposite is true for mother�s education, non-labor income and the age at which she first began working in the labor market, which have a greater impact on the labor status of daughters than of sons. In addition, when it comes to schooling decisions, both fathers and mothers education and non-labor income appear to have a greater positive impact on sons than on daughters.

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Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0213.

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Date of creation: May 2002
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0213
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  1. Martin Browning & P.A. Chiappori, 1996. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations - A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Discussion Papers 96-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Ranjan Ray, 2000. "Analysis of child labour in Peru and Pakistan: A comparative study," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 3-19.
  4. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
  5. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  6. Duncan Thomas, 1994. "Like Father, like Son; Like Mother, like Daughter: Parental Resources and Child Height," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 950-988.
  7. Marjorie B. McElroy, 1990. "The Empirical Content of Nash-Bargained Household Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 559-583.
  8. Glomm, Gerhard, 1997. "Parental choice of human capital investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 99-114, June.
  9. Behrman, Jere R, 1988. "Intrahousehold Allocation of Nutrients in Rural India: Are Boys Favored? Do Parents Exhibit Inequality Aversion?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 32-54, March.
  10. Basu, Kaushik, 2001. "Gender and Say: A Model of Household Behavior with Endogenously-Determined Balance of Power," Working Papers 01-01, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  11. Bell, Clive & Gersbach, Hans, 2001. "Child Labor and the Education of a Society," IZA Discussion Papers 338, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-08, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  13. 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 375-98, January.
  14. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
  15. Strauss, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Empirical Modeling of Household and Family Decisions," Papers 95-12, RAND - Reprint Series.
  16. Chiappori, P.A., 1989. "Collective Labour Supply and Welfare," DELTA Working Papers 89-07, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  17. Peter Jensen & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 1997. "Child labour or school attendance? Evidence from Zambia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 407-424.
  18. Jill Tiefenthaler, 1999. "The sectoral labor supply of married couples in Brazil: Testing the unitary model of household behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 591-606.
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