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The Determinants of Rural Child Labor: An Application to India

Report
Authors Heather Congdon Fors
Publisher Göteborg University
Place of publication Göteborg
Publication year 2007
Published at Department of Economics
Language en
Links hdl.handle.net/2077/4588
Keywords child labor, school attendance, market imperfections, India, JEL: J13, J21, I20
Subject categories Economics

Abstract

There are several factors that may contribute to the decision to send a child to work, such as poverty, market imperfections and parental preferences. The aim of this paper is to determine empirically the relative importance of these diverse factors on the incidence of child labor in rural India. In order to examine several potentially influential factors separately, we outline a theoretical model of child labor in a peasant household based on the model presented in Bhalotra and Heady (2003) with modifications to allow for the child to participate in different types of labor. We then use the theoretical model to specify and estimate an empirical model of rural child labor participation. Our results indicate that parental education and household income appear to play the most important role in determining whether a child works, attends school or is idle. Market imperfections, on the other hand, only play an important role in determining whether the child participates in family labor.

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