Trade Adjustment and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from Indian Tariff Reform

50 Pages Posted: 16 May 2007

See all articles by Eric V. Edmonds

Eric V. Edmonds

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Nina Pavcnik

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Petia B. Topalova

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: April 2007

Abstract

Do the short and medium term adjustment costs associated with trade liberalization influence schooling and child labor decisions? We examine this question in the context of India's 1991 tariff reforms. Overall, in the 1990s, rural India experienced a dramatic increase in schooling and decline in child labor. However, communities that relied heavily on employment in protected industries before liberalization do not experience as large an increase in schooling or decline in child labor. The data suggest that this failure to follow the national trend of increasing schooling and diminishing work is associated with a failure to follow the national trend in poverty reduction. Schooling costs appear to play a large role in this relationship between poverty, schooling, and child labor. Extrapolating from our results, our estimates imply that roughly half of India's rise in schooling and a third of the fall in child labor during the 1990s can be explained by falling poverty and therefore improved capacity to afford schooling.

Keywords: Trade liberalization, India, Tariffs, Human capital, Education, Labor markets, Poverty reduction

Suggested Citation

Edmonds, Eric V. and Pavcnik, Nina and Topalova, Petia B., Trade Adjustment and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from Indian Tariff Reform (April 2007). IMF Working Papers, Vol. , pp. 1-48, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=986822

Eric V. Edmonds

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

6106 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Nina Pavcnik

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

6106 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-2537 (Phone)
603-646-2122 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Petia B. Topalova (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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