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Child labor and schooling in Africa : a comparative study

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  • Canagarajah, Sudharshan
  • Nielsen, Helena Skyt

Abstract

This paper analyzes the determinants of child labor in Africa as inferred from recent empirical studies. The empirical analysis is based upon three country studies undertaken in three different African countries, namely Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Zambia. Some support is found for the popular belief of poverty as a determinant of child labor, however other determinants are of similar importance. Among school costs, transportation costs have the greatest effect on child labor and school attendance, whereas the hypothesis of imperfect capital markets and that of household composition generally find some support. Section 2 examines contributions, which explain child labor from the standpoint of economics literature, and derives three specific hypotheses to be tested in the empirical analysis. Section 3 presents some empirical evidence of the extent and the determinants of child labor and school attendance in Africa. The three hypotheses are tested based on evidence from the three African countries. Section 4 concludes with a discussion of the policy implications of the analysis, and puts the findings in perspective of the challenge of developing effective policy interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 1999. "Child labor and schooling in Africa : a comparative study," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 20456, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:20456
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kathleen Beegle & Rajeev Dehejia & Roberta Gatti, 2003. "Child Labor, Crop Shocks, and Credit Constraints," NBER Working Papers 10088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Baland, Jean-Marie & Duprez, Cédric, 2007. "Are Fair Trade Labels Effective Against Child Labour?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6259, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2001. "Child Labor: Theory, Evidence and Policy," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0111, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    4. Steele, Diane, 2005. "Household vulnerability and children's activities : information needed from household surveys to measure their relationship," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 32748, The World Bank.
    5. Kathleen Beegle & Rajeev Dehejia & Roberta Gatti, 2009. "Why Should We Care About Child Labor?: The Education, Labor Market, and Health Consequences of Child Labor," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
    6. World Bank, 2003. "Timor-Leste Poverty Assessment : Poverty in a New Nation - Analysis for Action, Volume 2. Technical Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14817, The World Bank.
    7. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev H. & Gatti, Roberta, 2006. "Child labor and agricultural shocks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 80-96, October.
    8. Nielsen, Helena Skyt & Dubey, Amaresh, 2001. "Child Labor: A Microeconomic Perspective," Working Papers 01-10, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    9. Dehejia, Rajeev H. & Beegle, Kathleen & Gatti, Roberta, 2003. "Child labor, income shocks, and access to credit," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3075, The World Bank.
    10. Hazarika, Gautam & Bedi, Arjun S., 2006. "Child Work and Schooling Costs in Rural Northern India," IZA Discussion Papers 2136, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. World Bank, 2003. "Timor-Leste Poverty Assessment : Poverty in a New Nation - Analysis for Action, Volume 1. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14435, The World Bank.
    12. Baland, Jean-Marie & Duprez, Cédric, 2009. "Are labels effective against child labor?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1125-1130, December.

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