NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

You Get What You Pay For: Schooling Incentives and Child Labor

Eric V. Edmonds, Maheshwor Shrestha

NBER Working Paper No. 19279
Issued in August 2013
NBER Program(s):   CH   DEV   LS

Can efforts to promote education deter child labor? We report on the findings of a field experiment where a conditional transfer incentivized the schooling of children associated with carpet factories in Nepal. We find that schooling increases and child involvement in carpet weaving decreases when schooling is incentivized. As a simple static labor supply model would predict, we observe that treated children resort to their counterfactual level of school attendance and carpet weaving when schooling is no longer incentivized. From a child labor policy perspective, our findings imply that “You get what you pay for” when schooling incentives are used to combat hazardous child labor.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19279

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