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Why do parents make their children work? A test of the poverty hypothesis in rural areas of Burkina Faso

Christelle Dumas ()

Oxford Economic Papers, 2007, vol. 59, issue 2, 301-329

Abstract: It is often argued that child labour is caused by poverty. However, much child labour takes place in rural areas characterized by substantial labour market imperfections. A model of rural household labour supply is developed that provides testable implications for two versions of the poverty hypothesis: that child labour is due to a binding subsistence constraint and that child leisure is a luxury good. We find that in rural Burkina Faso children do not provide labour to meet households' subsistence needs and that child leisure is a normal good. The evidence suggests that labour market imperfections are a main reason for using child labour. Copyright 2007 , Oxford University Press.

Date: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:59:y:2007:i:2:p:301-329