The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation
AbstractWe 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.
CitationDoepke, Matthias, and Fabrizio Zilibotti. 2005. "The Macroeconomics of Child Labor Regulation." American Economic Review, 95 (5): 1492-1524. DOI: 10.1257/000282805775014425
- J13 Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- J24 Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J82 Labor Standards: Labor Force Composition