Determinants of Child Labor in the Modern United States: Evidence from Agricultural Workers and Their Children and Concerns for Ongoing Public Policy

Economics Bulletin, Volume 36, Issue 1, March 2014, pp. 125-145

21 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2014

See all articles by Maoyong Fan

Maoyong Fan

Ball State University - Department of Economics

Mimi Huston

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Department of Economics

Anita Pena

Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Current legislative proposals consider amendments to child labor laws for U.S. agriculture. Similar amendments, however, have been unsuccessful recently. Using the National Agricultural Workers Survey, we show that child labor is still substantial in the modern U.S. despite some decreases over time, and argue that the lack of success of recent child labor policy decisions have left some young workers vulnerable. We therefore use the limited data that are available to examine determinants of farm and non-farm child labor in the U.S. and to consider relationships between child labor and propensities for families to participate in educational and welfare programs. As a majority of literature on child labor stems from the international context, this research lessens that gap by presenting the U.S. case drawn from a key industry sector while informing ongoing discussion pertaining to possible revisions to child labor laws and providing support for continued and expanded data collection.

Keywords: agricultural workers, child labor, public policy, United States

JEL Classification: I30; J43; J80

Suggested Citation

Fan, Maoyong and Huston, Mimi and Pena, Anita, Determinants of Child Labor in the Modern United States: Evidence from Agricultural Workers and Their Children and Concerns for Ongoing Public Policy (2014). Economics Bulletin, Volume 36, Issue 1, March 2014, pp. 125-145. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2542369

Maoyong Fan (Contact Author)

Ball State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Whitinger Business Building, room 201
2000 W. University Ave.
Muncie, IN 47306-0340
United States
765-285-5741 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/maoyongfan/home

Mimi Huston

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Department of Economics ( email )

Fort Collins, CO 80523-1771
United States

Anita Pena

Colorado State University, Fort Collins ( email )

Fort Collins, CO 80523-1771
United States

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