Latest Research on Child Labour : Mar 2022

Analysis of child labour in Peru and Pakistan: A comparative study

This paper analyses child labour participation and its key determinants using data sets from Peru and Pakistan. The results include tests of the ‘Luxury’ and ‘Substitution’ hypotheses that play key roles in recent studies on child labour and child schooling. The results reject both hypotheses in the context of child labour in Pakistan and suggest that income and related variables do not have the expected negative effect on children’s work input. Rising wages of adult female labour in Pakistan, and falling adult male wage in Peru lead to increased participation of children in the labour market. The results on the combined country data formally establish the presence of strong individual country effects in the estimated regressions. For example, ceteris paribus, a Peruvian child is more likely to experience schooling than a Pakistani child. However, both countries agree on the positive role that adult female education and infrastructure investment in basic amenities can play in discouraging child labour and encouraging child schooling.[1]

Combatting Child Labour: Listen to What the Children Say

This article summarizes some features of the Radda Barnen (Swedish Save the Children) study `Children’s Perspectives on their Working Lives’. The case is made for working children’s participation in the process of combatting child labour. Their participation will help ensure that interventions designed to eliminate exploitative and hazardous child labour are context appropriate, locally sustainable and child centred. This study is a contribution to the process. A specially designed Children’s Perspectives Protocol guided group activities with over 300 children in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, the Philippines and Central America. This article summarizes selected issues addressed by the study, including children’s occupational preferences and their views on work and school.[2]

Child Labour, Fertility, and Economic Growth

This paper explores the evolution of child labour, fertility and human capital in the process of development. In early stages of development, the economy is in a development trap where child labour is abundant, fertility is high and output per capita is low. Technological progress, however, gradually increases the wage differential between parental and child labour, thereby inducing parents to substitute child education for child labour and reduce fertility. The economy takes off to a sustained growth steady-state equilibrium where child labour is abolished and fertility is low. Prohibition of child labour expedites the transition process and generates a Pareto dominating outcome.[3]

CHILD LABOUR, SPORT LABOUR: Applying Child Labour Laws to Sport

The problems associated with children’s involvement in high-performance sport are considered and equated to the issue of child labour. After considering the extent and severity of problems with child labour in all parts of the world, the paper then turns to the problem of `sport labour’. Although this is by no means as serious as the child labour problem, it has many similar characteristics. The reasons why high performance sport involvement is not, but should be, considered as work are assessed. The paper proposes a resolution to the child labour/sport labour dilemma by addressing a series of questions: Are we ready for child labour laws in sport? Who would support child labour laws in sport?; Who is to be responsible for the welfare of children in high-performance sport? Is there a solution?[4]

The Determinants of Child Labour and Child Schooling in Ghana

This paper investigates the main determinants of child labour and child schooling in Ghana, with special reference to their interaction. The study provides evidence on the impact of poverty and quality of schooling on child labour hours, taking into account their potential endogeneity. The exercise distinguishes between cluster poverty and household poverty in the two‐stage Heckman estimation procedure. In addition, it relies on a set of non‐common regressors to identify the child labour hours regression from the selection equation. Other methodological features include simultaneous equations estimation of child labour, child schooling and poverty, taking into account their joint endogeneity. The empirical results contain some evidence of sharp rural urban differences, thus, pointing to the need to adopt region specific policies in enhancing child welfare. However, rural, semi‐urban and urban Ghana agree on the effective role that improved school attendance can play in curbing child labour.[5]


[1] Ray, R., 2000. Analysis of child labour in Peru and Pakistan: A comparative study. Journal of population economics, 13(1), pp.3-19.

[2] Woodhead, M., 1999. Combatting child labour: listen to what the children say. Childhood, 6(1), pp.27-49.

[3] Hazan, M. and Berdugo, B., 2002. Child labour, fertility, and economic growth. The Economic Journal, 112(482), pp.810-828.

[4] Donnelly, P., 1997. Child labour, sport labour: Applying child labour laws to sport. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 32(4), pp.389-406.

[5] Ray, R., 2002. The determinants of child labour and child schooling in Ghana. Journal of African Economies, 11(4), pp.561-590.

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