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The First Born Burden

  • Tsukada, Raquel

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.

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File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/48330/1/77_tsukada.pdf
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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 with number 77.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:77
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  1. 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 413-26, October.
  2. 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 341-54, January.
  3. Eric Edmonds, 2007. "Child Labor," Working Papers id:988, eSocialSciences.
  4. Basu, Kaushik & Van, Pham Hoang, 1998. "The Economics of Child Labor," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 412-27, June.
  5. 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.
  6. Patrick M. Emerson & Andr� 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.
  7. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "Birth Order, Schooling, and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S121-45, July.
  9. George Psacharopoulos, 1997. "Child labor versus educational attainment Some evidence from Latin America," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 377-386.
  10. 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 S279-88, Part II, .
  11. Patrick M. Emerson & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "Birth Order, Child Labor and School Attendance in Brazil," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0212, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
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