Trade Adjustment and Human Capital Investments: Evidence from Indian Tariff Reform

59 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2008

See all articles by Eric V. Edmonds

Eric V. Edmonds

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Nina Pavcnik

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Petia B. Topalova

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2008

Abstract

Does trade policy influence schooling and child labor decisions in low income countries? We examine this question in the context of India's 1991 tariff reforms. Overall, in the 1990s, rural India experienced a dramatic increase in schooling and decline in child labor. These trends were attenuated in communities where employment was concentrated in industries loosing tariff protection. The data suggest that this failure to follow the national trend of increasing schooling and diminishing work is associated with a failure to follow the national trend in poverty reduction. Schooling costs appear to play a large role in this relationship between poverty, schooling, and child labor. Extrapolating from our results, our estimates imply that roughly half of India's rise in schooling and a third of the fall in child labor during the 1990s can be explained by falling poverty and therefore improved capacity to afford schooling.

Keywords: child labour, India, literacy, schooling, trade liberalization

JEL Classification: F13, F14, F16

Suggested Citation

Edmonds, Eric V. and Pavcnik, Nina and Topalova, Petia B., Trade Adjustment and Human Capital Investments: Evidence from Indian Tariff Reform (April 2008). , Vol. , pp. -, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1141677

Eric V. Edmonds (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

6106 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Nina Pavcnik

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

6106 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-2537 (Phone)
603-646-2122 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Petia B. Topalova

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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