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The responses of child labor, school enrollment, and grade repetition to the loss of parental earnings in Brazil, 1982-1999

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  • Cortes Neri, Marcelo
  • Gustafsson-Wright, Emily
  • Sedlacek, Guilherme
  • Orazem, Peter F.

Abstract

The authors evaluate the effects of idiosyncratic shocks to a father's income on his children's probability of dropping out of school, entering the labor market, or failing to advance to the next grade level. Their analysis uses a large rotating panel data set containing information on household income and child time use for households in six cities in Brazil between 1982 and 1999. They find that for children aged 10 to 15 in the poorest households, loss of earnings by the household head has adverse consequences on child time in school and chance of promotion, and that these children are more likely to enter employment. Children in higher-income households are not adversely affected. The presumption is that wealthier households can self-insure against income shocks or can borrow to smooth consumption in the face of adverse income shocks. In contrast, poor households must use other means, including child labor, to replace lost labor market earnings of adults in the household.

Suggested Citation

  • Cortes Neri, Marcelo & Gustafsson-Wright, Emily & Sedlacek, Guilherme & Orazem, Peter F., 2005. "The responses of child labor, school enrollment, and grade repetition to the loss of parental earnings in Brazil, 1982-1999," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 32743, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:32743
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Lam, David & Schoeni, Robert F, 1993. "Effects of Family Background on Earnings and Returns to Schooling: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 710-740, August.
    3. Skoufias, Emmanual & Parker, Susan W., 2002. "Labor market shocks and their impacts on work and schooling," FCND briefs 129, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Flug, Karnit & Spilimbergo, Antonio & Wachtenheim, Erik, 1998. "Investment in education: do economic volatility and credit constraints matter?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 465-481, April.
    5. Hanan G. Jacoby & Emmanuel Skoufias, 1998. "Testing Theories of Consumption Behavior Using Information on Aggregate Shocks: Income Seasonality and Rainfall in Rural India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 1-14.
    6. Suzanne Duryea, 1998. "Children's Advancement Through School in Brazil: The Role of Transitory Shocks to Household Income," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1139, Inter-American Development Bank.
    7. Duryea, Suzanne & Lam, David & Levison, Deborah, 2007. "Effects of economic shocks on children's employment and schooling in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 188-214, September.
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