International Labor Standards and the Political Economy of Child Labor Regulation

15 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2008

See all articles by Matthias Doepke

Matthias Doepke

Northwestern University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Fabrizio Zilibotti

University of Zurich; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Abstract

Child labor is a persistent phenomenon in many developing countries. In recent years, support has been growing among rich-country governments and consumer groups for the use of trade policies, such as product boycotts and the imposition of international labor standards, to reduce child labor in poor countries. In this paper, we discuss research on the long-run implications of such policies. In particular, we demonstrate that such measures may have the unintended side effect of lowering domestic support for banning child labor within developing countries, and thus may contribute to the persistence of the child-labor problem.

Keywords: child labor, political economy, international labor standards, trade sanctions

JEL Classification: J20, J88, O10

Suggested Citation

Doepke, Matthias and Zilibotti, Fabrizio, International Labor Standards and the Political Economy of Child Labor Regulation. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3742. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1282964 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Matthias Doepke (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Economics ( email )

2003 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Fabrizio Zilibotti

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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