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The macroeconomics of child labor regulation


Doepke, Matthias; Zilibotti, Fabrizio (2005). The macroeconomics of child labor regulation. American Economic Review, 95(5):1492-1524.

Abstract

We develop a positive theory of the adoption of child labor laws. Workers who compete with children in the labor market support a child labor ban, unless their own working children provide a large fraction of family income. Fertility decisions lock agents into specific political preferences, and multiple steady states can arise. The introduction of child labor laws can be triggered by skill-biased technological change, which induces parents to choose smaller families. The theory can account for the observation that, in Britain, regulations were first introduced after a period of rising wage inequality, and coincided with rapid fertility decline.

Abstract

We develop a positive theory of the adoption of child labor laws. Workers who compete with children in the labor market support a child labor ban, unless their own working children provide a large fraction of family income. Fertility decisions lock agents into specific political preferences, and multiple steady states can arise. The introduction of child labor laws can be triggered by skill-biased technological change, which induces parents to choose smaller families. The theory can account for the observation that, in Britain, regulations were first introduced after a period of rising wage inequality, and coincided with rapid fertility decline.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:December 2005
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:29
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:22
Publisher:American Economic Association
ISSN:0002-8282
Additional Information:Copyright: American Economic Association
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1257/000282805775014425
Official URL:http://www.atypon-link.com/AEAP/doi/pdf/10.1257/000282805775014425

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