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Does childhood work impede long-term human capital accumulation? Empirical evidence from rural Ethiopia

Essa Mussa, Alisher Mirzabaev, Assefa Admassie (), Emmanuel Nshakira-Rukundo and Joachim von Braun

International Journal of Educational Development, 2019, vol. 66, issue C, 234-246

Abstract: We examine the long-term effects of childhood work on human capital formation in rural Ethiopia using a unique panel dataset constructed through tracking of children after sixteen years. The findings show that full-time childhood work impedes long-term grade attainment and transitions between school cycles. Furthermore, childhood work-entry age non-linearly affects children’s long-term school transitions. The effects, however, are heterogeneous by child gender and work types. Eliminating full-time childhood work should be at the core of the country’s human capital development agenda. Nevertheless, a blanket ban on all forms of childhood work may be infeasible at best or counterproductive at worst.

Keywords: Child labor; Child schooling; Educational outcomes; Long-term human capital; Ethiopia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 J13 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2018.09.001

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