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Free Education Policy And Trade Liberalization: Consequences On Child And Adult Labour Markets In A Small Open Economy


  • Sarbajit Chaudhuri

    (Dept. of Economics, Calcutta University, India)

  • Ujjaini Mukhopadhyay

    (Dept. of Economics, Calcutta University, India)


The paper purports to examine the implications of a free education policy and trade liberalization on the child and adult labour markets in the set-up of a Harris-Todaro type general equilibrium model. It has been found that a hike in the education subsidy or inflow of foreign capital may produce counterproductive results on the supply of child labour in the urban area. Moreover, these policies mar raise the level of urban unemployment of adult labour even when two types of labour are not substitutes to each other. The average income of the urban poor families may also decrease as a consequence.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarbajit Chaudhuri & Ujjaini Mukhopadhyay, 2005. "Free Education Policy And Trade Liberalization: Consequences On Child And Adult Labour Markets In A Small Open Economy," Labor and Demography 0510018, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0510018
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jimenez, E. & Lockheed, M.E., 1995. "Public and Private Secondary Education in Developing Countries. A Comparative Study," World Bank - Discussion Papers 309, World Bank.
    2. 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.
    3. Dessy, Sylvain E., 2000. "A defense of compulsive measures against child labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 261-275, June.
    4. Manash Gupta, 1994. "Duty-free zone, unemployment, and welfare a note," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 217-236, June.
    5. Bedi, Arjun S. & Garg, Ashish, 2000. "The effectiveness of private versus public schools: the case of Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 463-494, April.
    6. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi & Knight, John, 2004. "Unemployment in South Africa: The Nature of the Beast," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 391-408, March.
    7. Grinols, Earl L, 1991. "Unemployment and Foreign Capital: The Relative Opportunity Costs of Domestic Labour and Welfare," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(229), pages 107-121, February.
    8. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M Stern, 2001. "Child Labor: Theory, Evidence, and Policy," Working Papers 474, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    9. Chaudhuri, Sarbajit, 2000. "Rural-Urban Migration, the Informal Sector, Urban Unemployment, and Development Policies: A Theoretical Analysis," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 353-364, October.
    10. Osmani, S. R., 1990. "Wage determination in rural labour markets : The theory of implicit co-operation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 3-23, November.
    11. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
    12. 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 158-175, March.
    13. Chandra, Vandana & Khan, M Ali, 1993. "Foreign Investment in the Presence of an Informal Sector," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 60(237), pages 79-103, February.
    14. Gupta, Manash Ranjan, 1993. "Rural-urban migation, informal sector and development policies A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 137-151, June.
    15. Gupta, Manash Ranjan, 1997. "Foreign Capital and the Informal Sector: Comments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(254), pages 353-363, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sarbajit Chaudhuri & Jayanta Kumar Dwibedi, 2006. "Trade Liberalization in Agriculture in Developed Nations and Incidence of Child Labour in a Developing Economy," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 129-150, April.
    2. M. Ali Khan, 2007. "The Harris-Todaro Hypothesis," PIDE-Working Papers 2007:16, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    3. Titas Kumar Bandopadhyay, 2007. "Trade Reform, Capital Mobility, and Efficiency Wage in a Harris-Todaro Economy," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 46(2), pages 163-174.
    4. Chakraborty, Kamalika & Chakraborty, Bidisha, 2016. "Learning by doing, low level equilibrium trap, and effect of domestic policies on child labour," MPRA Paper 74712, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Chakraborty, Kamalika & Chakraborty, Bidisha, 2016. "Child labour ban versus Education subsidy in a model with learning by doing effect in unskilled work," MPRA Paper 74203, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Child labour; urban unemployment of adult labour; general equilibrium; education subsidy; trade liberalization;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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