The Economics of Child Labour (March, 2006)
Alessandro Cigno and Furio Camillo Rosati
Children throughout the world are engaged in a great number of activities classifiable as work. These range from relatively harmless, even laudable, activities like helping parents in their domestic chores, to morally and physically dangerous ones like soldiering and prostitution. If we leave out the former, we are left with what are generally called "economic" activities. The absolute number of children estimated to be engaged in the latter is, however, a stunning 8.4 million.Should we only be concerned about the worst forms of child labor? Most forms of child labor other than the worst ones have valuable learning-by-doing elements. Furthermore, child labor produces current income. If the family is credit rationed, child labor relaxes the liquidity constraint and increases current consumption. There is thus a trade-off between present and future consumption. To the extent that current consumption has a positive effect on future health (hence, on the child's future earning capacity and, more generally, utility), this trade-off may be lower than one might think.This book provides a blend of theory, empirical analysis and policy discussion. The authors develop a comprehensive theory of child labor, and related variables such as fertility, and infant mortality. The effects of trade are considered and country studies are included to illustrate and test different aspects of the theory in different geographical contexts. [from dust jacket]
Oxford: Oxford University Press. 249 pages.
Call number: HD6231 .C47 2005