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Selection into Worst Forms of Child Labor: Child Domestics, Porters and Ragpickers in Nepal

Eric Edmonds ()

Working Papers from eSocialSciences

Abstract: A large literature considers why children work, but little is known about why children participate in activities that are labeled worst forms of child labor. The principal international convention on worst forms of child labor has signatory governments define what activities are worst forms of child labor. Are these government defined worst forms of child labor different from other types of jobs from the perspective of agents making decisions about child time allocation? Existing evidence on the determinants of participation in worst forms largely comes from surveys of children engaged in those activities. This study emphasizes that such evidence alone cannot be informative about the determinants of why children participate in worst forms. Case-control approaches common in medicine are adapted to consider the correlates of participation in worst forms in the context of three activities that the Nepali government has labeled as among the worst forms of child labor in Nepal: child domestic service, portering, and ragpicking. The data are consistent with the view that there are negative amenities associated with these jobs that are partially compensated. However, intrinsic and easily remedied problems in the way data on children in worst forms are collected limit the present analysis, and the considerable limitations of the present study illustrates how current survey efforts aimed at children in worst forms can be improved.

Keywords: children; work; job; Nepal; government; medicine; case control approach (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007-06
Note: Institutional Papers
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