Spillover Effects of Tobacco Farms on the Labor Supply, Education, and Health of Children: Evidence from Malawi

22 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2020

See all articles by Fang Xia

Fang Xia

University of International Business and Economics (UIBE); World Bank

Klaus Deininger

World Bank - Development Economics Group (DEC); World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: July 2019

Abstract

Using data from the Living Standards Measurement Study in Malawi, we examine the spillover effects of tobacco farms on children's labor supply, education, and health. To address potential endogeneity, the share of tobacco farms in a community is instrumented by the change in tobacco buyers following termination of the intermediate buyer system. We find that, as tobacco cultivation is labor‐intensive, children in communities with more tobacco growers spend more time as casual laborers and are less likely to advance to the next grade. Adverse health effects, measured by the likelihood of suffering from illnesses related to green tobacco sickness, are estimated to be larger than previously documented. This affects not only “working‐age” children but also children too young to work on tobacco farms. Moreover, exposure to large‐scale tobacco cultivation is estimated to reduce the height‐for‐age z‐score of children aged 6–60 months. These findings highlight the importance of raising awareness and taking measures to protect children against green tobacco.

Keywords: Tobacco farm, child labor, education, health, Malawi

Suggested Citation

Xia, Fang and Deininger, Klaus, Spillover Effects of Tobacco Farms on the Labor Supply, Education, and Health of Children: Evidence from Malawi (July 2019). American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 101, Issue 4, pp. 1181-1202, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3578995 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajae/aaz011

Fang Xia (Contact Author)

University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) ( email )

10, Huixin Dongjie
Changyang District
Beijing, Beijing 100029
China

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Klaus Deininger

World Bank - Development Economics Group (DEC) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/kdeininger

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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