IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Family - controlled child labor in Sub-Saharan Africa - a survey of research


  • Andvig, Jen Christopher


This is a review of research on child labor in Sub-Saharan Africa. It focuses on child labor taking place in the household, and controlled by relatives of the children, since this is the most extensive form of child labor in African countries. It is also the form of child labor that is the most difficult one to appraise from a normative point of view. Subtle trade-offs between schooling, leisure, and poverty across generations may be involved. Hence, the paper emphasizes welfare economics issues pertaining to child labor. Another feature of this study, is that it seeks to survey not only the economic research, but also research from other social sciences, particularly social anthropology. The social anthropological studies deal with an aspect of child labor, so far, less adequately dealt by economists - the relationship between their labor, and their socialization; how certain types of labor, and education may give rise to different preferences to the children as adults. A major, but tentative conclusion of this survey, is that the relationship between poverty, and child labor is less than normally assumed in the policy debate.

Suggested Citation

  • Andvig, Jen Christopher, 2001. "Family - controlled child labor in Sub-Saharan Africa - a survey of research," Social Protection Discussion Papers and Notes 24086, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:24086

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Porter, Gina & Hampshire, Kate & Abane, Albert & Munthali, Alister & Robson, Elsbeth & Mashiri, Mac & Tanle, Augustine & Maponya, Goodhope & Dube, Sipho, 2012. "Child Porterage and Africa’s Transport Gap: Evidence from Ghana, Malawi and South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 2136-2154.
    2. Serra, Renata, 2009. "Child fostering in Africa: When labor and schooling motives may coexist," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 157-170, January.
    3. Nkamleu, Guy Blaise & Fox, Louise, 2006. "Taking Stock of Research on Regional Migration in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 15112, University Library of Munich, Germany.


    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:wbk:hdnspu:24086. 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: (Raiden C. Dillard). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.