Three Essays on Child Labor and Education in Developing Countries

by Seo Yeon Hong

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Abstract

This dissertation seeks to understand the mechanism of a household's decision on child labor and educational investment by proposing a theoretical framework, examining the empirical evidence, and providing policy evaluation and recommendations. In the theoretical framework, it addresses the factors related to the educational investment and child labor such as living below the subsistence level of consumption (poverty), the opportunity cost of education (the child's wage), and the return to education. The first chapter focuses on the household's educational investment decision over the life cycle and addresses the effect of birth order on the educational attainment and child labor supply under binding budget and credit constraints. The empirical evidence from Tanzania suggests there are 'delays' in schooling for the latter-born children and 'school dropout' for the earlier-born children. In the second chapter, it empirically estimates the labor supply for children in the family farm in Tanzania. The supply curve is downward sloping, suggesting that poverty is the main cause of child labor. The third chapter focuses on the evaluation of specific policies designed to encourage the educational investment for girls — the reduction of tuition and the provision of a stipend in Bangladesh. This program is intended to promote the female education by lowering the cost of schooling. It evaluates the long-term effect of the program by estimating the effect on completed years of schooling, age of marriage, and labor force participation of married women.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    The Birth Order Effect on Education and Child Labor: Delaying school enrollment vs. Dropping out of school

  • Chapter Two

    The Effect of Child Shadow Wages on the Child Labor Supply and Schooling on Family Farms

  • Chapter Three

    Long-term Impact of Free Tuition and Female Stipend Program on Educational Attainment, Age of Marriage, and Labor Force Participation of Married Women in Bangladesh

This document was submitted as a dissertation in June 2013 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Krishna Kumar (Chair), Peter Glick, and Paco Martorell.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation dissertation series. PRGS dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a PRGS faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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