Child Labor and the Law: Notes on Possible Pathologies

11 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2004

See all articles by Kaushik Basu

Kaushik Basu

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

Date Written: December 2004


The paper demonstrates that the standard policy for controlling child labor by imposing a fine on firms caught employing children can cause child labor to rise. This 'pathological' reaction is, however, reversed as the size of the fine increases.

Keywords: child labor, law, labor standards,India

JEL Classification: 20, K31, D10

Suggested Citation

Basu, Kaushik, Child Labor and the Law: Notes on Possible Pathologies (December 2004). Harvard Institute of Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 2052. Available at SSRN: or

Kaushik Basu (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Brookings Institution ( email )

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