Child Labor and Household Wealth: Theory and Empirical Evidence of an Inverted-U

22 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2007

See all articles by Kaushik Basu

Kaushik Basu

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

Sanghamitra Das

Indian Statistical Institute

Bhaskar Dutta

University of Warwick - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2007

Abstract

Some studies on child labor have shown that greater land wealth leads to higher child labor, thereby casting doubt on the hypothesis that child labor is caused by poverty. This paper argues that the missing ingredient is an explicit modeling of the labor market. We develop a simple model which suggests an inverted-U relationship between land holdings and child labor. A unique data set from India that has child labor hours information confirms this hypothesis. It is shown that the turning point beyond which more land leads to a decline in child labor occurs at 3.6 acres of land per household, which is well below the observed maximum value of land-holding.

Keywords: child labor, land-holding, education, labor markets

JEL Classification: D13, J20, O12

Suggested Citation

Basu, Kaushik and Das, Sanghamitra and Dutta, Bhaskar, Child Labor and Household Wealth: Theory and Empirical Evidence of an Inverted-U (April 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2736. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=982152

Kaushik Basu

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States
607-255-2525 (Phone)
607-255-2818 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Brookings Institution ( email )

1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Sanghamitra Das (Contact Author)

Indian Statistical Institute ( email )

7 S.J.S. Sansanwal Marg
Planning Unit
New Delhi - 110016
India

Bhaskar Dutta

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
44 24 7652 3478 (Phone)
44 24 7652 3032 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/faculty/dutta/

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