Investment credit and child labour

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It is generally assumed that credit has a positive effect on children's schooling among poor households. This article shows that need not be the case when households obtain credit for investment purposes. In fact, investment loans may not have any effect on the likelihood of schooling for children who work in their family business. Our estimates confirm that this is the case; credit used to finance investments has no effect on the odds of schooling for employed children. This may be because investment loans increase children's labour productivity, which in turn increases the opportunity cost of schooling. The results of this study suggest that improving access to credit may not, by itself, constitute a solution to the problem of child labour in developing countries.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Economics & International Business School MS 021, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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