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The intriguing relation between adult minimum wage and child labor

Author

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  • Basu, Kaushik

Abstract

Because most parents send their children to work when compelled by poverty, one would expect a rise in adult wage to lower child labor. However, if the rise in wage is achieved by a minimum wage law, its impact can be intriguing. It can, for instance, cause some adults to be unemployed, and send their children to work, which in turn displaces more adult labor, and sends more children to work. The paper solves this process, and predicts the incidence of child labor. It shows that, for appropriate parametric configurations, child labor may fall, or rise as the adult minimum wage is raised.

Suggested Citation

  • Basu, Kaushik, 1999. "The intriguing relation between adult minimum wage and child labor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2173, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2173
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kaushik Basu, 1999. "Child Labor: Cause, Consequence, and Cure, with Remarks on International Labor Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1083-1119, September.
    2. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1980. "Unemployment as Disequilibrium in a Model of Aggregate Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 547-564, April.
    3. Ray, Ranjan, 2000. "Child Labor, Child Schooling, and Their Interaction with Adult Labor: Empirical Evidence for Peru and Pakistan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 347-367, May.
    4. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
    5. Layard, R & Barton, M & Zabalza, A, 1980. "Married Women's Participation and Hours," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(185), pages 51-72, February.
    6. Maskus, Keith E., 1997. "Should core labor standards be imposed through international trade policy?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1817, The World Bank.
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