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Family - controlled child labor in Sub-Saharan Africa - a survey of research

Jen Christopher Andvig

No 24086, Social Protection Discussion Papers and Notes from The World Bank

Abstract: This is a review of research on child labor in Sub-Saharan Africa. It focuses on child labor taking place in the household, and controlled by relatives of the children, since this is the most extensive form of child labor in African countries. It is also the form of child labor that is the most difficult one to appraise from a normative point of view. Subtle trade-offs between schooling, leisure, and poverty across generations may be involved. Hence, the paper emphasizes welfare economics issues pertaining to child labor. Another feature of this study, is that it seeks to survey not only the economic research, but also research from other social sciences, particularly social anthropology. The social anthropological studies deal with an aspect of child labor, so far, less adequately dealt by economists - the relationship between their labor, and their socialization; how certain types of labor, and education may give rise to different preferences to the children as adults. A major, but tentative conclusion of this survey, is that the relationship between poverty, and child labor is less than normally assumed in the policy debate.

Keywords: Street Children; Youth and Governance; Children and Youth; Environmental Economics&Policies; Health Economics&Finance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2001-10-31
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