Do international labor standards contribute to the persistence of the child-labor problem?

Matthias Doepke*, Fabrizio Zilibotti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

In recent years, a number of governments and consumer groups in rich countries have tried to discourage the use of child-labor in poor countries through measures such as product boycotts and the imposition of international labor standards. The purported objective of such measures is to reduce the incidence of child-labor in developing countries and thereby improve children's welfare. In this paper, we examine the effects of such policies from a political-economy perspective. We show that these types of international action on child-labor tend to lower domestic political support within developing countries for banning child-labor. Hence, international labor standards and product boycotts may delay the ultimate eradication of child-labor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Economic Growth
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Keywords

  • Child labor
  • International labor standards
  • Political economy
  • Trade sanctions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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