Child Labor and Household Wealth: Theory and Empirical Evidence of an Inverted-U
Cornell University - Department of Economics; Harvard University - Harvard Institute of Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
Indian Statistical Institute
University of Warwick - Department of Economics
IZA Discussion Paper No. 2736
Some studies on child labor have shown that greater land wealth leads to higher child labor, thereby casting doubt on the hypothesis that child labor is caused by poverty. This paper argues that the missing ingredient is an explicit modeling of the labor market. We develop a simple model which suggests an inverted-U relationship between land holdings and child labor. A unique data set from India that has child labor hours information confirms this hypothesis. It is shown that the turning point beyond which more land leads to a decline in child labor occurs at 3.6 acres of land per household, which is well below the observed maximum value of land-holding.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Keywords: child labor, land-holding, education, labor markets
JEL Classification: D13, J20, O12working papers series
Date posted: April 26, 2007
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