Why is Child Labor Illegal?

46 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2001

See all articles by Sylvain Dessy

Sylvain Dessy

Université Laval - Département d'Économique

John Knowles

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: July 2007

Abstract

We argue from an empirical analysis of Latin American household surveys that per capita income in the country of residence has a negative effect on child labor supply, even after controlling for other household characteristics. We then develop a theory of the emergence of mandatory education laws. If parents are unable to commit to educating their children, child labor laws can increase the welfare of altruistic parents in an ex ante sense. The theory suggests that measures that reduce child wages can make poor families better off, but that this may come at the expense of even poorer families.

Keywords: macroeconomic analyses of economic development, labor force composition

JEL Classification: J82, O11

Suggested Citation

Dessy, Sylvain and Knowles, John, Why is Child Labor Illegal? (July 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2901; PIER Working Paper No. 01-043. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=290085 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.290085

Sylvain Dessy

Université Laval - Département d'Économique ( email )

2325 Rue de l'Université
Ste-Foy, Quebec G1K 7P4 G1K 7P4
Canada

John Knowles (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
215-898-7701 (Phone)
215-573-2057 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
305
Abstract Views
2,269
rank
97,711
PlumX Metrics