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Household vulnerability and children's activities : information needed from household surveys to measure their relationship


  • Steele, Diane


Studies that have been done on the relationships between poverty, vulnerability, risks and children's activities have shown that child work may not always be a consequence of poverty, and that some aspects of vulnerability may be more important in determining whether children work or not vis a vis others. In order to analyze the relationships between vulnerability, risk, and children's activities, both quantitative and qualitative information is needed. Information on vulnerability cannot be measured directly. It is not possible to simply ask a household whether or not it is vulnerable. It must be measured through proxies such as tangible assets (land, labor capital, and savings), and intangible assets (social capital, proximity to markets, health and education facilities, and empowerment). Measurement of children's activities, and especially those that would encompass child labor, include many characteristics, other than just the activities that children perform. It is also necessary to collect information on characteristics of other members of the household, especially the parents, and characteristics of the community in which the child lives. This paper provides an overview of the information needed to measure both household vulnerability, and children's activities using household surveys. Explanations of key concepts are included, and examples of questions to include in household surveys are provided. It also provides information on how to adapt existing household questionnaires, problems that may be encountered if changes are implemented and basic information on the administration of household surveys.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:32748

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Mosley & Robert Holzmann & Steen Jorgensen, 1999. "Social protection as social risk management: conceptual underpinnings for the social protection sector strategy paper," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(7), pages 1005-1027.
    2. Siegel, Paul B. & Alwang, Jeffrey, 1999. "An asset-based approach to social risk management : a conceptual framework," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 21324, The World Bank.
    3. Lorenzo Guarcello & Fabrizia Mealli & Furio Rosati, 2010. "Household vulnerability and child labor: the effect of shocks, credit rationing, and insurance," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 169-198, January.
    4. Sonia Bhalotra & Christopher Heady, 2003. "Child Farm Labor: The Wealth Paradox," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 197-227, December.
    5. Margaret Grosh & Paul Glewwe, 2000. "Designing Household Survey Questionnaires for Developing Countries : Lessons from 15 Years of the Living Standards Measurement Study, Volume 3," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15195.
    6. Ucw, 2008. "Understanding children's work in Uganda," UCW Country Studies 9, Understanding Children's Work (UCW Programme).
    7. Holzmann,Robert & Jorgensen,Steen Lau, 2000. "Social risk management : a new conceptual framework for social protection and beyond," Policy Research Working Paper Series 21314, The World Bank.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Levine, Anthony [editor] & Doryan, Eduardo & Hunter, Susan & Subbarao, Kalanidhi & Walker, Christopher & Lukoda, Matthew & Assefaw Tekeste Ghebrekidan & Baingana, Florence & Macleon, Heather & Frederi, 2001. "Orphans and other vulnerable children : what role for social protection ?," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 24089, The World Bank.
    11. Robert Holzmann & Steen Jørgensen, 2001. "Social Risk Management: A New Conceptual Framework for Social Protection, and Beyond," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(4), pages 529-556, August.
    12. Grimsrud, Bjorne, 2001. "Measuring and analyzing child labor : methodological issues," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 23029, The World Bank.
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