Political Repression and Child Labor: Theory and Empirical Evidence

44 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2004

See all articles by Heinrich W. Ursprung

Heinrich W. Ursprung

University of Konstanz; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Sandro Maffei

University of Konstanz

Nikolai Rabe

University of Konstanz

Date Written: September 2004

Abstract

Most normative studies on child labor arrive at the conclusion that child labor is detrimental to social welfare. Child labor is, however, still prevalent in many developing countries even though in many of these countries it is forbidden by law. In this paper we develop a political-economic model that explains lenient enforcement of existing child labor legislation. The most important implication of our model is that in countries with repressive political regimes enforcement is more lenient and child labor thus more prevalent than in countries enjoying political freedom. We test this implication and find that it is confirmed by the data.

Keywords: child labor, political economy, freedom

JEL Classification: D72, K14

Suggested Citation

Ursprung, Heinrich and Maffei, Sandro and Rabe, Nikolai, Political Repression and Child Labor: Theory and Empirical Evidence (September 2004). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1288. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=608961

Heinrich Ursprung (Contact Author)

University of Konstanz ( email )

Konstanz, D-78457
Germany
+49 7531 88 3713 (Phone)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Sandro Maffei

University of Konstanz ( email )

Fach D-144
Universitätsstraße 10
Konstanz, D-78457
Germany

Nikolai Rabe

University of Konstanz ( email )

Fach D-144
Universitätsstraße 10
Konstanz, D-78457
Germany

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