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Child Labor in Africa and Asia: Household and Context Determinants of Hours Worked in Paid Labor by Young Children in 16 Low-Income Countries

Ellen Webbink, Jeroen Smits and Eelke de Jong
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Ellen Webbink: Department of Economics, Institute for Management Research, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Jeroen Smits: Department of Economics, Institute for Management Research, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Eelke de Jong: Department of Economics, Institute for Management Research, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

The European Journal of Development Research, 2015, vol. 27, issue 1, 84-98

Abstract: We study the number of hours children in Africa and Asia are involved in paid child labor on the basis of a newly developed database with information on 169 000 children living in 16 countries. The proportion of involved children varies between 1 and 8 per cent, with generally lower figures in Asia. Children engaged in paid child labor work on average 13 hours in Africa and 30–38 hours in Asia. Our analyses show the variation in the hours children work for pay to be mainly due to household-level factors (in Asia 95 per cent and in Africa 77 per cent), with poverty still a major driving factor. In Asia parental education and demographic and cultural factors also play an important role; in Africa these factors are of lesser importance.

Date: 2015
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