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Household poverty and child labor decisions in Malawi

Levison S. Chiwaula

A chapter in Child Labor and the Transition between School and Work, 2010, vol. 31, pp 33-51 from Emerald Publishing Ltd

Abstract: The positive relationship between household poverty and child labor decisions need not to be generalised across different types of works and geographical regions. This chapter studies this relationship using the 2004 Malawi Integrated Household Survey data. The study attempts to identify the influence of exogenous change in household consumption on child labor decisions by using consumer durable goods as an instrument. These findings show that child labor was most prevalent and intensive in domestic work, but significant negative relationships between household consumption and child labor supply are only found in unpaid market work. These findings support both poverty reduction and awareness campaigns as child labor eradication strategies. Promotion of non-labor intensive income sources also seems to be an attractive policy option.

Date: 2010
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