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The First Born Burden

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  • Tsukada, Raquel

Abstract

Being the first born of a family entails inherent responsibilities. Sociologists, psychologists and economists have long argued that the first born's receive differentiated treatment within the household. This paper tests and quantifies the existence of a disproportionate workload over the oldest child in poor households: we call it the first born burden. We are concerned with the determinants of such work burden, and we analyze how access to basic infrastructure could release children from work. The empirical results for rural areas in Ghana confirm a systematic selection of first born's to work. Although access to infrastructure may not reallocate evenly the workload among siblings, it indeed relaxes the children's time constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Tsukada, Raquel, 2011. "The First Born Burden," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 77, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:77
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Patrick M. Emerson & André Portela Souza, 2011. "Is Child Labor Harmful? The Impact of Working Earlier in Life on Adult Earnings," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(2), pages 345-385.
    3. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 143-162, August.
    4. Horton, Susan, 1988. "Birth Order and Child Nutritional Status: Evidence from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 341-354, January.
    5. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
    6. 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.
    7. Emerson, Patrick M. & Souza, André Portela, 2008. "Birth Order, Child Labor, and School Attendance in Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1647-1664, September.
    8. Kessler, Daniel, 1991. "Birth Order, Family Size, and Achievement: Family Structure and Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 413-426, October.
    9. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-427, June.
    10. George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
    11. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "Birth Order, Schooling, and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 121-145, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    child labor; time allocation; birth order; infrastructure; water;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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