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The Role of Poverty and Community Norms in Child Labor and Schooling Decisions

  • Strulik, Holger

Household poverty is a powerful motive for child labor and working frequently comes at the expense of schooling for children. Accounting for these natural links we investigate whether and when there is an additional role for community norms and how the social evaluation of schooling evolves over time. The proposed model provides an explanation for why equally poor villages or regions display different attitudes towards schooling and why children who are not working are not sent to school either but remain idle instead. The conditions for a successful implementation of a half-day school vs. a full-day school are investigated. An extension of the model explores how an education contingent subsidy paid to the poorest families of a community manages to initiate a bandwagon effect towards an equilibrium where all children are sent to school.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Zurich 2008 with number 42.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec08:42
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  13. Eliana Cardoso & Andre Portela Souza, 2004. "The Impact of Cash Transfers on Child Labor and School Attendance in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0407, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
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  16. George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
  17. Basu, Kaushik, 1998. "Child labor : cause, consequence, and cure, with remarks on International Labor Standards," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2027, The World Bank.
  18. E. Glaeser & B. Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2003. "The Social Multiplier," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000130, David K. Levine.
  19. Holger Strulik, 2002. "Child Mortality, Child Labour, and Economic Development," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20205, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  20. Arnab K. Basu & Nancy H. Chau, 2004. "Exploitation of Child Labor and the Dynamics of Debt Bondage," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 209-238, 06.
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