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Research Paper On Child Labor

This is a research proposal example on Child Labor:
In America’s history we have had many problems with child labor. That is why “in 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt passed the Fair Labor Standards Act” (World Book 455). Child labor laws has helped the children in America greatly by not having to work long hours, having a minimum wage, and the worker must be at least 16 years of age before they can work. However, Child labor is still a problem in other undeveloped countries now.

We have child labor laws because, “from the mid 1800s to the early part of this century, many young children were employed in what we now call “sweatshop conditions” (Russell Freedman 93) . These children spent many hours working hard at dangerous jobs instead of going to school and getting a good education. Many factories and other firms hired children because they could be paid less than adults and get away with it. Furthermore, the children were overworked and underpaid, often working 16 hours a day, six days a week, and earning only pennies an hour. Kids often were also injured or killed while working under these brutal conditions.

The child labor laws came into effect to stop these abuses and help young people go to school. These laws were passed to protect the health, safety, and well-being of young workers while at the same time affording them an opportunity to gain an education. “Many children among the age of 10, were hired by factories, this is why countries passed laws to stop the abuses of child labor” (Child Labor Coalition 4). Many children work today, but most are teenagers in the USA, Canada, Britain, and hold part-time jobs. The working conditions for youth today are carefully regulated by the law. I know the working rules are true by when I worked at Express in the mall, my friend who was only 17, was not allowed to work past 9p.m. during the week or weekend because she wasn’t 18, and maintained a full-time student status. However, in Asia, and other parts of the world, millions of girls and boys hold full-time jobs. In some countries, children under 15 form a large part of the total working force, and there is little or no control over the working conditions they work in.

Employment of Child labor created no major social problems until the factory systems of labor began. Children would work in the fields for their parents all of the time. Children worked for lower wages than adults, and were not so likely as adults to cause labor troubles. Factories wanted to use the children’s small, quick fingers for machinery work.

Children often performed jobs that really required adult strength to do. Many children worked to help support their parents in raising the families, work for their unemployed or disabled parents. Uneducated, the only work they were capable of doing was unskilled labor in sweatshops. Today, companies like Mattel and Levi’s offer benefits to employees all over the world, and FA8000, which is an education program for children unable to finish high school. They will help educate their workers.

The first federal child labor law was passed in the U.S. Congress in 1916. This law “set standards for the hiring of children by industries involved in interstate or foreign commerce”( Encyclopedia of American History).

Young kids are allowed to work in factories in foreign countries because other countries have different child labor laws or may not be as willing to enforce their existing laws. In some places in the world, families are so poor that children must work to put food on the table. Children having to work at such a young age is unfortunate. Many organizations, including the United States Government, are working to end oppressive child labor throughout the world and help all children obtain an education.

There are many things being done about sweatshops in foreign countries. The Department of Labor outlined ten steps that need to be taken to eliminate illegal child labor around the world. Last summer the Department helped to launch a campaign called Foul Ball which makes sure that soccer balls are stitched by Pakistani adults and not children who should be in school. The Department is also cooperating with such international groups as the United Nations and the International Labor Organization.

Why no one ever did anything about these sweatshops if they were so bad was because over the years many tried to improve these conditions for kids. Finally, the Fair Labor Standards Act was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt on June 25, 1938. This important law limits the conditions which children may work to those that protect their health and safety and do not interfere with their education.


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Child Labor and Youth Employment: Ethiopia Country Study(686kb pdf)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0704; Publication Date: 03/07
by Lorenzo Guarcello and Furio Rosati

Ethiopia accounts for the largest youth population in Sub-Saharan Africa and the lack of employment opportunities for Ethiopian young people is among the critical developing challenges facing the country. The specific factors affecting youth employment in Ethiopia have received little research attention. There is therefore limited empirical basis for formulating policies and programs promoting youth employment and successful school to work transitions. This study is aimed at beginning to fill this gap by analyzing a set of youth employment indicators drawn primarily from the 2001 Ethiopia Labor Force Survey. The study looks specifically at the labor market outcomes of young people and key factors influencing these outcomes, including early labor market entry and human capital accumulation. It also examines the process of labor market entry, and, for those who attended school, the duration of the transition from school to work.

Household Vulnerability and Children’s Activities:Information Needed from Household Surveys to Measure their Relationship(327KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0517; Publication Date: 5/05
by Diane Steele

Studies that have been done on the relationships between poverty, vulnerability, risks and children’s activities have shown that child work may not always be a consequence of poverty, and that some aspects of vulnerability may be more important in determining whether children work or not than others.  In order to analyze the relationships between vulnerability, risk and children’s activities both quantitative and qualitative information is needed.Information on vulnerability cannot be measured directly.  It is not possible to simply ask a household whether or not it is vulnerable.  It must be measured through proxies such as tangible assets (land, labor capital, and savings) and intangible assets (social capital, proximity to markets, health and education facilities, and empowerment). 
Measurement of children’s activities, and especially those that would encompass child labor, include many characteristics other than just the activities that children perform.  It is also necessary to collect information on characteristics of other members of the household, especially the parents, and characteristics of the community in which the child lives. This paper provides an overview of the information needed to measure both household vulnerability and children’s activities using household surveys.  Explanations of key concepts are included, and examples of questions to include in household surveys are provided.  It also provides information on how to adapt existing household questionnaires, problems that may be encountered if changes are implemented and basic information on the administration of household surveys.

The Effect of Child Labor on Mathematics and Language Achievement in Latin America(223KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0516; Publication Date: 5/05
by Mario A. Sanchez, Peter F. Orazem and Victoria Gunnarsso

Sanchez, Orazem and Gunnarsson use a unique data set on language and mathematics test scores for third and fourth graders in eleven different Latin American countries to determine whether child labor raises or lowers school achievement.  Their findings are amazingly consistent across countries. In every country, child labor lowers performance on tests of language and mathematics proficiency, even when controlling for school and household attributes. The magnitude of the effect is similar to the percentage reduction in adult wages from child labor reported by Ilahi, Sedlacek and Orazem. The adverse impact of child labor on test performance is larger when children work regularly rather than occasionally.  Even modest levels of child labor at early ages cause adverse consequences for the development of cognitive abilities. These findings strongly refute the presumptions that child labor may be neutral or complementary to academic performance, provided that the child remains enrolled in school. Instead, child labor consistently makes a year of education less productive in the generation of human capital.

The Inter-Generational Persistence of Child Labor(235KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0515; Publication Date: 5/05
by Patrick M. Emerson and André Portela Souza

Emerson and Souza use the Pesquisa Nacional por Amostragem a Domicilio (PNAD) data for Brazil. Their paper asks two related questions. First, does the child labor status of parents impact the child labor incidence of their children? The authors find strong evidence that it does. Second, is this link only a function of permanent family income or is there a direct link between the child labor status of the parents and their children? They find evidence that such a direct link exists. This complements their previous research (Emerson and Souza 2002) in which they went on to ask if a person works as a child, would this increase the probability of his or her child working by more than that can be explained by the fact that the person will be poor as an adult (by virtue of having been a child worker) and therefore compelled to send the child to work? The answer to this is also yes. Hence, the presence of social factors can cause the perpetuation of child labor through non-income channels. It is, for instance, possible that having been a child laborer oneself affects one’s social norms and attitude to child labor (Basu 1999, Lopez-Calva 2002) such that one is more prone to send ones' own child to work.

How Does Working as a Child Affect Wage, Income and Poverty as an Adult?(303KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0514; Publication Date: 5/05
by Nadeem Ilahi, Peter F. Orazem and Guilherme Sedlacek

Ilahi, Orazem, and Sedlacek use a unique data set on adult earnings in Brazil to study how child labor affects adult earnings through its impacts on work experience, years of schooling, and human capital attained per year of schooling. Adding up these positive and negative effects, their empirical findings suggest that adults who entered the labor market before age 13 earn 20% less per hour, have 26% lower incomes, and are 14% more likely to be in the lowest two income quintiles. Overall, child labor raises the probability of being poor later in life by 13% to 31%.  These magnitudes are large. On the other hand, while child labor reduces the productivity of schooling, the net effect of an additional year of schooling on adult wages is still positive, even if the child works while in school. Consequently, policies which delay dropping out of school, even as the child works, appear to be effective at mitigating adult poverty. This chapter is a promising first step toward a better understanding of the theoretically ambiguous impact of early labor market entry on lifetime labor market outcomes and the dynastic poverty traps discussed below.

Dynamics of Child Labor: Labor Force Entry and Exit in Urban Brazil(348KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0513; Publication Date: 5/05
by Suzanne Duryea, Jasper Hoek, David Lam and Deborah Levison

Duryea, Hock, Lam, and Levison discover from an analysis of monthly employment surveys in Brazil’s six largest cities over the last twenty years that employed children frequently stop work then start working again, a phenomenon dubbed "intermittent employment." This is not surprising, because the previous chapter on parental shocks indicated that children often enter the labor market to meet short-term income needs for the household, then exit when the need subsides. The implication for measures of child labor force participation rates are striking. Measurements of child labor that are based on point-in-time surveys can be one-half or one-third the number of children who are actually working at least part of the year.  Furthermore, there is little difference between households whose children are working and households with children who are in school; children observed in school one period could easily be in the labor market the next.

These patterns of children’s work and schooling have important implications for understanding child labor in the first instance, and also for the design of programs intended to encourage families to keep children in school and out of the labor force. Income transfer policies should target households broadly rather than on current child labor market status. It may be as important to shore up income in poor households whose children are currently enrolled as to direct income transfers to households in which children currently are out of school. The high levels of intermittency also suggest that the cash transfers intended to replace the income earned in the labor market may be set too high, since many children do not receive a consistent stream of income. This would imply that the extra cost associated with the underestimate of child workers might be offset by a lower subsidy per child.

The Responses of Child Labor, School Enrollment, and Grade Repetition to the Loss of Parental Earnings in Brazil, 1982-1999(226KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0512; Publication Date: 5/05
by Marcelo Côrtes Neri, Emily Gustafsson-Wright, Guilherme Sedlacek and Peter F. Orazem

Neri, Gustafsson-Wright, Sedlacek, and Orazem evaluate the effects of idiosyncratic shocks to a father’s income on his children’s probability of dropping out of school, entering the labor market, or failing to advance to the next grade level. Their analysis uses a large rotating panel data set containing information on household income and child time use for households in six cities in Brazil between 1982 and 1999. They find that for children aged 10 to 15 in the poorest households, loss of earnings by the household head has adverse consequences on child time in school and chance of promotion, and that these children are more likely to enter employment. Children in higher-income households are not adversely affected. The presumption is that wealthier households can self-insure against income shocks or can borrow to smooth consumption in the face of adverse income shocks. In contrast, poor households must use other means, including child labor, to replace lost labor market earnings of adults in the household.

Child Labor, Schooling, and Poverty in Latin America(196KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0511; Publication Date: 5/05
by Guilherme Sedlacek, Suzanne Duryea, Nadeem Ilahi and Masaru Sasaki

Sedlacek, Duryea, Ilahi, and Sasaki probe further into how household attributes affect the probability that children will work and the probability of enrollment and success in school.  Focusing on four household surveys in Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Peru, they find that most child labor is takes place in rural areas and that more boys than girls are recorded as workers. Children in the poorest income groups enter school late and often exit before completing the basic school cycle. Enrollment rates for children in the wealthiest families are more than 90% for ages 6 to 15. For the poorest children, enrollment rates don’t rise above 90% until age 8, and fall below 90% again by age 12. While the enrollment gap across income groups is only a few percentage points for children aged 8 to 11, about 15% of the poorest children already have spent one or two fewer years in school by age 8 compared to the children in the wealthiest households. In addition, those poorest children begin to drop out of school in large numbers after the age of 11. For children aged 14 to 16, the difference in enrollment rates between rich and poor nearly doubles (from 20 to 34 percentage points).

Changing Patterns of Child Labor around the World since 1950: The Roles of Income Growth, Parental Literacy and Agriculture(277KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0510;  Publication Date: 5/05
by Victoria Gunnarsson, Peter F. Orazem and Guilherme Sedlacek

Using country-level data, this chapter lays out the broad stylized facts regarding the relationship between child labor and per capita GDP, adult literacy, and the share of agriculture in the economy.  The relationship between child labor force participation and per capita income is convex and stable over time. The implication is that as a country develops, child labor will decrease, but at a decreasing rate. At some point, further reductions in child labor may require more than just increasing per capita income. Child labor also is affected by the perceived return to child time in the labor market relative to child time in school. The strength of demand for child labor is highly correlated with the share of agriculture in the economy. Parental perception of the importance of education is highly correlated with the parents’ own education. A 10% decrease in agriculture’s share of GDP decreases child labor by about 20%. A 10% decrease in adult illiteracy also decreases child labor by 20%. 
In Latin America, all three of these factors have contributed to decreases in child labor since 1950.  Increases in per capita income have lowered the child labor participation rate by 2.9 percentage points. The reduction in adult illiteracy was responsible for a 4.2 percentage point reduction in child labor participation and reductions in agriculture’s share of production lowered child labor by an additional 1.2 percentage points. It is possible that income redistribution may lead to lower incidence of child labor, even if increases in average income will not.  However, child labor is still found even at the upper end of the income distribution in Latin America. Consequently, income transfer programs alone will not eliminate child labor.

Household Vulnerability and Child Labor:The Effect of Shocks, Credit Rationing and Insurance(164KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0322; Publication Date: 11/03
by Lorenzo Guarcello, Fabrizia Mealli and Furio Camillo Rosati

The theoretical literature has pointed at the importance of access to credit market in determining the household decisions concerning children's activities and the reaction of households to adverse shocks. In this paper the authors address these issues making use of a unique data set for Guatemala that contains information on credit rationing and shocks. The authors address the potential endogeneity of the variable of interest using a methodology based on propensity scores and they use sensitivity analysis to assess the robustness of the estimates with respect to unobservables. The results show the importance of access to credit markets and of shocks in determining children's labor supply.

Child Labor: What Have We Learnt?(203KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0317; Publication Date: 09/03
by Sonia Bhalotra and Zafiris Tzannatos

The purpose of this paper is to review what has been learnt from the growing volume of applied research on child labor and to indicate directions for future research. The authors start by looking at research by the World Bank, which has played a fairly pioneering role in this area in data collection and, increasingly, in data analysis, more recently in cooperation with other agencies, such as the ILO and UNICEF. With a view to guiding policy interventions in this area, the authors attempt to identify the patterns which arise from the study of a wide range of countries. The authors emphasize that the current state of empirical research makes this task difficult: A striking feature of available research is the sheer variety of results that it has produced. This review discusses the extent to which this diversity is a result of methodological problems, as opposed to genuine country variations. The authors argue that the neglect of statistical issues such as endogeneity, measurement error and aggregation error has biased the results of a number of studies. At least as important a shortcoming is that empirical research has been conducted without adequate reference to theory. As a result, the estimated equations are sometimes mis-specified and often difficult to interpret. This impedes the confidence with which policy prescriptions can be applied.

Child Work: An Expository Framework of Altruistic and Non-Altruistic Models(99KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0305; Publication Date: 03/03
by Furio Camillo Rosati and Zafiris Tzannatos

In this paper the authors present and confront two approaches to modeling child labor. The first assumption is that parents are altruistic towards their offspring, while the second sees children as an asset to parents, especially in terms of old age security. The paper also extends the analysis to consider fertility as endogenous and jointly determined together with children's activities.The paper uses a simple basic model that try to frame the main effects discussed in the literature, while providing some novel results in terms of the consequences of treating fertility as endogenous and of the effects of uncertainty in expected old age transfers from children.

Child Work in Zambia: A Comparative Study of Survey Instruments(161KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0228; Publication Date: 12/02
by Niels-Hugo Blunch, Amit Dar, Lorenzo Guarcello, Scott Lyon, Amy Ritualo and Furio Rosati

The authors analyse child work in Zambia applying two recent surveys, the LCMS 1998 (World Bank) and the SIMPOC 1999 (ILO). The analysis aims at contrasting and comparing findings on the incidence and characteristics of the two surveys. The extent to which the findings are survey-dependent is assessed and implications for the design and implementation for future surveys for the analysis of child work is discussed.

Participation of Children in Schooling and Labor Activities: A Review of Empirical Studies(168KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0221; Publication Date: 08/02
by Amit Dar, Niels-Hugo Blunch, Bona Kim, and Masaru Sasaki

This paper surveys the recent empirical literature on child labor and school attendance in selected developing countries. Since it has been argued that determinants of child labor and school attendance are mainly affected by poverty, parents' socio-economic characteristics (mainly employment status and educational attainment) and children's individual demographic characteristics (mainly age and gender), this review highlights how these characteristics statistically impacts participation of children in schooling and labor activities.

The World Bank and Children: A Review of Activities(372KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0220; Publication Date: 07/02
by Iqbal Kaur and Zafiris Tzannatos

This paper reviews World Bank interventions that supported the welfare of children in the last decade. Though the World Bank has always addressed children's development and protection through its focus of broader economic development and social protection, it has recently intensified its efforts to directly address children's issues in the context of a broader international effort to improve the general welfare of children and, more specifically, to reduce child labor. This paper focuses on Human Development projects with an objective relating to children or that are expected to have an indirect, but non-trivial impact on children. In the last decade (FY1990-2000), the World Bank financed close to 635 Human Development projects, of which 302 projects fully or partially supported child welfare, development and protection - and the focus of these interventions is discussed in this paper.

Short- and Long-term Impacts of Economic Policies on Child Labor and Schooling in Ghana(147KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0212; Publication Date: 05/02
by Niels-Hugo Blunch, Sudharshan Canagarajah and Sangeeta Goyal

While the issue of child labor in developing countries has received increased attention in recent years, most of the empirical analysis has been based on one-time cross sectional samples. While this may give an idea of the incidence and determinants of child labor at one point in time, it is silent about the dynamics of child labor over time and sometimes may even be influencing policy choices against child labor adversely. This paper attempts to fill this void, analyzing the dynamics of child labor and schooling in Ghana, aiming at investigating the impact of broad economic reforms on child labor and schooling in the short, medium and long run. Starting from a premise that the simple – direct - relationship between poverty and child labor, which has often been seen as the feature of child labor, may not adequately capture the multi facetted nature of child labor, the authors find evidence of asymmetries in the child labor-poverty link, as well as quite complex dynamics in the evolution of child labor and schooling and their determinants over time. Most notably, child labor is found to be responsive to poverty in the short run, but not in the long run, while child schooling is unaffected by poverty in short run but responds in the medium- to long run. These results suggest that child labor acts as an economic buffer of the household in the short run, regardless of changes in the economic environment or perceptions of the latter following economic reforms, thus supporting – and refining – the poverty explanation of child labor.

Child Labor Handbook(281KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0206; Publication Date: 05/02
by Alessandro Cigno, Furio C. Rosati and Zafiris Tzannatos

This survey is an introduction to child labor issues, a fast expanding research and policy area. It deals with the many aspects of child labor, including its causes and effects as well as policies associated with it. The survey takes the reader from the definition and measurement of "child" and "labor" to what the authors call the "pathology" of child labor, the extreme forms of child exploitation, the use of children in activities that are morally repugnant or dangerous to the child's health and even life. Between these two extremes, from the methodological aspects to the vulgar realities, this survey examines:
  • Why do children work?

  • How failures in the capital markets affect child labor?

  • What is the role of household income?

  • How does child labor interplay with education?

  • What is the effect of household structure on child labor?

  • How does parental education affect child labor?

  • What does the presence or absence of social security affect child labor?

  • What other policies affect child labor?

  • How is the market for child labor determined?

Child Labor, Nutrition and Education in Rural India: An Economic Analysis of Parental Choice and Policy Options(151KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0131; Publication Date: 12/01
by Alessandro Cigno, Furio Camillo Rosati and Zafiris Tzannatos

The causes and consequences of child labor are examined within a household decision framework with survival uncertainty and endogenous fertility. The data come from a nationally representative survey of Indian rural households. The complex interactions uncovered by the analysis suggest that mere prohibition of child labor, or the imposition of school attendance, would make things worse, and would be difficult to enforce. Beneficially reducing child labor requires changing the economic environment to which the work of children constitutes, in the great majority of cases, the rational response. Suitable policies include capillary provision of schools, and public health improvements. The effects of these policies go far beyond direct impacts. They have favorable indirect repercussions on the school attendance, educational expenditure, labor participation, and nutritional status of children. They also discourage fertility. Women's education, and income re-distribution are also helpful, but land re-distribution may be counterproductive.

Child Farm Labour: The Wealth Paradox(151KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0125; Publication Date: 09/01
by Sonia Bhalotra and Christopher Heady

This paper is motivated by the observation that children in land-rich households are often more likely to be in work than the children of land-poor households. The vast majority of working children in developing countries are in agricultural work, predominantly on farms operated by their families. Land is the most important store of wealth in agrarian societies and it is typically distributed very unequally. These facts challenge the common presumption that child labour emerges from the poorest households. The authors suggest that this seeming paradox can be explained by failures of the markets for labour and land. Credit market failure will tend to weaken the force of this paradox. The authors model these effects and estimate the model on data from rural Pakistan and Ghana. A striking finding of the paper is that, after controlling for household consumption and other covariates, the wealth paradox persists for girls but, for boys in both countries, it vanishes.

What Can Be Done about Child Labor? An Overview of Recent Research and Its Implications for Designing Programs to Reduce Child Labor(124KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0124; Publication Date: 10/01
by Bjørne Grimsrud

This paper examines the research on child labor and places the phenomenon in a broader development agenda. It explains the demand for and supply of child labor, linking these factors to others such as the supply of education. Then it looks into the private and social costs of and benefits from child labor. Against this background, strategies for reducing child labor are debated.

Measuring and Analyzing Child Labor: Methodological Issues(143KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0123; Publication Date: 10/01
by Bjørne Grimsrud

Current statistics on child labor are generally based on economically active children. This paper will argue that these figures are not a workable proxy for data on child labor, generating numbers of child laborers and their gender composition that do not represent the group described by the international definition of child labor. This raises the question of reliable alternative ways of measuring children's activities with the aim of analyzing the incidence of child labor. The paper addresses this and proposes a child labor module that can be linked to surveys of labor force or living conditions. It also proposes some ideas for how to analyze data on children's activities and child labor.

Family-Controlled Child Labor in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Survey of Research(194KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0122; Publication Date: 10/01
by Jens Christopher Andvig

This is a review of research on child labor in Sub-Saharan Africa. It focuses on child labor taking place in the household and controlled by relatives of the children since this is the most extensive form of child labor in African countries. It is also the form of child labor that is the most difficult one to appraise from a normative point of view. Subtle trade-offs between schooling, leisure and poverty across generations may be involved. Hence, the paper emphasises welfare economics issues pertaining of child labor. Another feature of this study is that it seeks to survey not only the economic research, but also research from other social sciences, particularly social anthropology. The social anthropological studies deal with an aspect of child labor so far less adequately dealt with by economists - the relationship between their labor and their socialization; how certain types of labor and education may give rise to different preferences to the children as adults. A major, but tentative conclusion of this survey is that the relationship between poverty and child labor is less close than normally assumed in the policy debate.

Is Child Work Necessary?(241KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0121; Publication Date: 10/01
by Sonia Bhalotra

This paper investigates the hypothesis that children work because their income contribution is necessary for the household to meet subsistence expenditures. It uses the fact that a testable implication of this hypothesis is that the wage elasticity of child labour supply is negative. Previous work has tended to infer from a negative income elasticity that poverty drives children into work. It is argued here that a negative income elasticity only tells us that child leisure (or education) is a normal good. Using a large household survey for rural Pakistan, labour supply models for boys and girls in wage work are estimated. Conditioning on full income and a range of demographic variables, the authors identify a forward falling labour supply curve for boys, consistent with the view that boys work on account of the compulsions of poverty. This is less clear in the case of girls. Therefore, while raising the return to schooling for girls may draw them out of work, eliminating boys' wage work requires alleviation of the poverty of their households. Trade sanctions or bans on child labour may have deleterious consequences for these households unless they are compensated for the loss in income.

Do Market Wages Influence Child Labor and Child Schooling?(292KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0024; Publication Date: 12/00
by Jackline Wahba

This paper provides empirical evidence on the joint determinants of child labor and child schooling using individual level data from Egypt. The main findings are as follows: (i) A 10% increase in the illiterate male market wage decreases the probability of child labor by 21.5% for boys and 13.1% for girls. (ii) Higher local regional income inequality increases the likelihood of child labor. (iii) Parents who were child laborers themselves are more likely to send their children out to work. (vi) Local labor market conditions- the share of adults engaged in the public sector or in non-regular jobs- play an important role in influencing child labor participation. (iv) There is a trade-off between child labor and child schooling. The results suggest that not only is poverty the main cause of child labor, but that child labor perpetuates poverty as well.

Creating Partnerships With Working Children and Youth(377KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 0021; Publication Date: 08/00
by Per Miljeteig

This paper reviews how organisations assisting working children and youth can include working children and youth in efforts to reduce the adverse effects of child labor and child labor per se. Children's and youth organisations can support the empowerment of poor or otherwise marginalised and disadvantaged families. They can grow spontaneously even from small initiatives of local groups. At the local level, these organisations help members to handle their daily situation, and work effectively to improve their conditions both at individual and collective levels. In many cases they can influence local legislation and policymaking and go even further: working children and their organisations have also engaged in international outreach and cross-country networking including participation in the international conferences on child labour in Amsterdam and Oslo. The paper concludes with suggestions for further steps to elaborate the understanding of working children and youth as partners and stakeholders, and to develop ways to include them – whenever appropriate – in programming, planning, policies, advocacy and research concerning child labor. This paper adds an important dimension to the Bank's understanding of the issue.

Uncertainty About Children's Survival and Fertility: A Test Using Indian Microdata(97KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 9931; Publication Date: 12/99
by Vincenzo Atella and Furio Camillo Rosati

In this paper the authors present a non altruistic model of demand for children in the presence of uncertainty about children's survival. Children are seen as assets, as they provide help during old age. If certain conditions are met, both the financial market and the family network are used to transfer resources to old age. Theoretical predictions relative to the change in the mean and variance of the survival rate are derived. The empirical analysis is based on data from the Human Development of India (HDI) survey. Different models for count data variables, such as Poisson, Hurdle and ZI models have been employed in the empirical analysis. The results highlight the importance of the uncertainty about children's survival in determining parental choices, thus showing that realized or expected children's death is not the only dimension that links fertility decision to children's mortality. The policy implications of such findings are briefly discussed.

Child Labor and Schooling in Africa: A Comparative Study(112KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 9916; Publication Date: 07/99
by Sudharshan Canagarajah and Helena Skyt Nielsen

This paper analyzes the determinants of child labor in Africa as inferred from recent empirical studies. The empirical analysis is based upon five country studies undertaken in three different African countries, namely Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Zambia. Some support is found for the popular belief of poverty as a determinant of child labor, however other determinants are of similar importance. Among school costs, transportation costs have the greatest effect on child labor and school attendance, whereas the hypothesis of imperfect capital markets and that of household composition generally find some support.

Child Labor and School Enrollment in Thailand in the 1990s(115KB PDF)
Social Protection Discussion Paper No. 9818; Publication Date: 12/98
by Zafiris Tzannatos

The paper examines the situation of child labor in Thailand in the last decade. It finds that child labor has decreased significantly, for example, the labor force participation rates of those aged 13-14 years has almost halved since 1990. Despite this decline, 1.6 million children below the age of 16 are out of school of whom 1.2 million are between 12 and 14 years. Most of them are from poor families. Many face harsh conditions of employment that adversely affect their physical and mental development and can lock them into poverty in the future thus perpetuating a vicious circle. Empirical analysis suggests that at younger ages (below 14) direct education costs deter school attendance. As the child gets older, income effects become more important determinants of child labor than the costs of education. The paper then examines what incentives the household can be provided with to keep children in school, the role of public education, and what can be done in the labor market through additional measures for those children who, notwithstanding the previous two interventions, will continue to be at work.


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