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Child labor, schooling, and poverty in Latin America

  • Sedlacek, Guilherme
  • Duryea, Suzanne
  • Ilahi, Nadeem
  • Sasaki, Masaru

The authors probe further into how household attributes affect the probability that children will work, and the probability of enrollment and success in school. Focusing on four household surveys in Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Peru, they find that most child labor is takes place in rural areas, and that more boys than girls are recorded as workers. Children in the poorest income groups enter school late, and often exit before completing the basic school cycle. Enrollment rates for children in the wealthiest families are more than 90 percent for ages 6 to 15. For the poorest children, enrollment rates don't rise above 90 percent until age 8, and fall below 90 percent again by age 12. While the enrollment gap across income groups is only a few percentage points for children aged 8 to 11, about 15 percent of the poorest children already have spent one, ortwo fewer years in school by age 8, compared to the children in the wealthiest households. In addition, those poorest children begin to drop out of school in large numbers after the age of 11. For children aged 14 to 16, the difference in enrollment rates between rich and poor nearly doubles (from 20 to 34 percentage points).

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 32742.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:32742
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  1. Furio C. Rosati & Mariacristina Rossi, 2003. "Children's Working Hours and School Enrollment: Evidence from Pakistan and Nicaragua," CEIS Research Paper 25, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  2. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 1999. "Does child labor displace schooling? - evidence on behavioral responses to an enrollment subsidy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2116, The World Bank.
  3. Duryea, Suzanne & Arends-Kuenning, Mary, 2003. "School Attendance, Child Labor and Local Labor Market Fluctuations in Urban Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1165-1178, July.
  4. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 1997. "Family size, schooling and child labor in Peru - An empirical analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 387-405.
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