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Is Child Labor Inefficient?

Jean‐Marie Baland and James A. Robinson
Journal of Political Economy
Vol. 108, No. 4 (August 2000), pp. 663-679
DOI: 10.1086/316097
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/316097
Page Count: 17
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Is Child Labor
Inefficient?
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Abstract

We build a model of child labor and study its implications for welfare. We assume that there is a trade‐off between child labor and the accumulation of human capital. Even if parents are altruistic and child labor is socially inefficient, it may arise in equilibrium because parents fail to fully internalize its negative effects. This occurs when bequests are zero or when capital markets are imperfect. We also study the effects of a simple ban on child labor and derive conditions under which it may be Pareto improving in general equilibrium. We show that the implications of child labor for fertility are ambiguous.

Notes and References

This item contains 26 references.

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