The Economics of Child Labor

Posted: 21 Dec 2008

See all articles by Kaushik Basu

Kaushik Basu

Cornell University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Brookings Institution

Van H. Pham

Baylor University - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 1, 1998

Abstract

If child labor as a mass phenomenon occurs not because of parental selfishness but because of the parents' concern for the household's survival, the popular argument for banning child labor loses much of its force. However, this assumption about parental decision-making coupled with the assumption of substitutability in production between child and adult labor could result in multiple equilibria in the labor market, with one equilibrium where children work and another where adult wage is high and children do not work. The paper establishes this result and discusses its policy implications.

JEL Classification: J20, K31, D60

Suggested Citation

Basu, Kaushik and Pham, Van H., The Economics of Child Labor (June 1, 1998). American Economic Review, Vol. 88, No. 3, 1998. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1318683

Kaushik Basu

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States
607-255-2525 (Phone)
607-255-2818 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
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Germany

Brookings Institution ( email )

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Washington, DC 20036
United States

Van H. Pham (Contact Author)

Baylor University - Department of Economics ( email )

One Bear Place #98003
Waco, TX 76798
United States
(254) 710-3521 (Phone)
(254) 710-6142 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.baylor.edu/van_pham

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