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Child labor and household wealth: theory and empirical evidence of an inverted-U

By Kaushik Basu, Sanghamitra Das and Bhaskar Dutta

Abstract

Some studies on child labor have shown that, at the level of the household, 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 may be an explicit modeling of the labor market. We develop a simple model which suggests the possibility of an inverted-U relationship between land holdings and child labor. Using a unique data set that has child labor hours it is found that, controlling for child, household and village characteristics, the turning point beyond which more land leads to a decline in child labor occurs around 4 acres of land per household

Topics: HD
Publisher: University of Warwick, Department of Economics
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:1329

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