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Why is Child Labor Illegal?

Sylvain Dessy () and John Knowles ()

Cahiers de recherche from Université Laval - Département d'économique

Abstract: We argue from an empirical analysis of Latin-American household surveys that per capita income in the country of residence has a negative effect on child labor supply, even after controlling for other household characteristics. We then develop a theory of the emergence of mandatory-education laws. If parents are unable to commit to educating their children, child-labor laws can increase the welfare of altruistic parents in an ex ante sense. The theory suggest that measures that reduce child wages can make poor families better off, but that this may come at the expense of even poorer families.

Keywords: Child Labor Legislation; Economic Development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 I21 J22 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2001
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mic
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Journal Article: Why is child labor illegal? (2008) Downloads
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