Child Labor Essay

Submitted By minthrall
Words: 342
Pages: 2

This is a review of research on child labor in Sub-Saharan Africa. It focuses on child labor taking place in the household and controlled by relatives of the children since this is the most extensive form of child labor in African countries. It is also the form of child labor that is the most difficult one to appraise from a normative point of view. Subtle trade-offs between schooling, leisure and poverty across generations may be involved. Hence, the paper emphasises welfare economics issues pertaining of child labor.
Another feature of this study is that it seeks to survey not only the economic research, but also research from other social sciences, particularly social anthropology. The social anthropological studies deal with an aspect of child labor so far less adequately dealt with by economists - the relationship between their labor and their socialization; how certain types of labor and education may give rise to different preferences to the children as adults.
A major, but tentative conclusion of this survey is that the relationship between poverty and child labor is less close than normally assumed in the policy debate.
Why is poverty not such an important explanation of child labor in Sub-Saharan
Africa? One possibility is, of course, that the data are extremely noisy. The clue might also be sought in another direction, however. The bulk of the child labor registered in Africa is not wage labor, but labor performed in the household…