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The consequences of child labor : evidence from longitudinal data in rural Tanzania

  • Beegle, Kathleen
  • Dehejia, Rajeev H.
  • Gatti, Roberta
  • Krutikova, Sofya

This paper exploits a unique longitudinal data set from Tanzania to examine the consequences of child labor on education, employment choices, and marital status over a 10-year horizon. Shocks to crop production and rainfall are used as instrumental variables for child labor. For boys, the findings show that a one-standard-deviation (5.7 hour) increase in child labor leads 10 years later to a loss of approximately one year of schooling and to a substantial increase in the likelihood of farming and of marrying at a younger age. Strikingly, there are no significant effects on education for girls, but there is a significant increase in the likelihood of marrying young. The findings also show that crop shocks lead to an increase in agricultural work for boys and instead lead to an increase in chore hours for girls. The results are consistent with education being a lower priority for girls and/or with chores causing less disruption for education than agricultural work. The increased chore hours could also account for the results on marriage for girls.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4677.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4677
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  1. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev & Gatti, Roberta, 2005. "Why should we care about child labor? The education, labor market, and health consequences of child labor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3479, The World Bank.
  2. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C158-75, March.
  3. Beegle, Kathleen & Dehejia, Rajeev H. & Gatti, Roberta, 2006. "Child labor and agricultural shocks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 80-96, October.
  4. Horowitz, Andrew W. & Wang, Jian, 2004. "Favorite son? Specialized child laborers and students in poor LDC households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 631-642, April.
  5. Bezerra, Márcio Eduardo G. & Kassouf, Ana Lucia & Arends-Kuenning, Mary P., 2009. "The Impact of Child Labor and School Quality on Academic Achievement in Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 4062, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Emerson, Patrick M. & Portela Souza, André, 2007. "Is Child Labor Harmful? The Impact of Working Earlier in Life on Adult Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 3027, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Heady, Christopher, 2003. "The Effect of Child Labor on Learning Achievement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 385-398, February.
  10. Jacoby, Hanan G, 1993. "Shadow Wages and Peasant Family Labour Supply: An Econometric Application to the Peruvian Sierra," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 903-21, October.
  11. Owen O'Donnell & Furio C. Rosati & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2005. "Health effects of child work: Evidence from rural Vietnam," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 437-467, 09.
  12. Behrman, Jere R. & Murphy, Alexis & Quisumbing, Agnes & Ramakrishnan,Usha & Yount, Kathyrn, 2006. "What is the real impact of schooling on age of first union and age of first parenting ? New evidence from Guatemala," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4023, The World Bank.
  13. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2005. "Lasting local impacts of an economywide crisis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3503, The World Bank.
  14. Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1727, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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