Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics

No 01-10: Child Labor: A Microeconomic Perspective

Helena Skyt Nielsen and Amaresh Dubey ()
Additional contact information
Helena Skyt Nielsen: Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, Postal: Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Amaresh Dubey: Dept. of Economics, Postal: North-Eastern Hill University, Mayurbhanj Complex, Shillong-793014, India

Abstract: In an empirical microeconomic analysis that allows individual heterogeneity, we test four main hypotheses from the recent macroeconomic literature on child labor: the substitution, subsistence, capital market and parental education hypotheses. Using two rich Indian data sets, we find that the reduction in child labor and/or non-school-enrollment from 1987/88 to 1993/94 is closely associated with the increased household incomes. However, reduced capital constraints and improved literacy rates among the parent generation also play minor roles in increasing enrollment rates. A small counteracting effect comes from an increased need for and an increased value of substituting children for working household heads.

Keywords: Child labor; Education; Substitution; Subsistence; Capital markets; Parental human capital; India

JEL-codes: I21; J13; O15

23 pages, January 1, 2001

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01-10_hn.pdf PDF-file 

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