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Child farm labour : the wealth paradox

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  • Bhalotra, Sonia
  • Heady, Christopher

Abstract

This paper is motivated by the observation that children in land-rich households are often more likely to be in work than the children of land-poor households. The vast majority of working children in developing countries are in agricultural work, predominantly on farms operated by their families. Land is the most important store of wealth in agrarian societies and it is typically distributed very unequally. These facts challenge the common presumption that child labour emerges from the poorest households. We suggest that this seeming paradox can be explained by failures of the markets for labour and land. Credit market failure will tend to weaken the force of this paradox. We model these effects and estimate the model on data from rural Pakistan and Ghana. A striking finding of the paper is that, after controlling for household consumption and other covariates, the wealth paradox persists for girls but, for boys in both countries, it vanishes.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhalotra, Sonia & Heady, Christopher, 2001. "Child farm labour : the wealth paradox," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 24088, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:24088
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Street Children; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Children and Youth;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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