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Why Is Child Labor Illegal?

Sylvain Dessy () and John Knowles ()

No 2901, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We present a theory of the emergence of laws restricting child labor or imposing mandatory education that is consistent with the fact that poor parents tend to oppose such laws. We find that if altruistic parents are unable to commit to educating their children, child-labor laws can increase the welfare of higher-income parents in an ex ante sense. On the basis of an empirical analysis of Latin-American household surveys, we demonstrate that per capita income in the country of residence has the predicted effect on child labor supply, even after controlling for other household characteristics.

Keywords: macroeconomic analyses of economic development; labor force composition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J82 O11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 46 pages
Date: 2007-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev and nep-hpe
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Related works:
Journal Article: Why is child labor illegal? (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: Why is Child Labor Illegal? (2001) Downloads
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