Macro Analysis of Child Labor and School Enrollment
This study analyzes the national characteristics that explain the prevalence of child labor and low school enrollments by using unbalanced panel regression analysis. This study contains 106 countries that have exhibited some degree of child labor between 1990 and 2003. The independent variables were divided into four categories; economic, political, educational, and socio-cultural.
Although the issues of child labor and low school enrollment are almost always discussed relative to economics, this study shows that the rest of the factors are also related to the rate of child labor and school enrollment rates. Economic development seems necessary in order to reduce child labor, improving educational systems and establishing educational policies appear to effectively increase primary school enrollment. Additionally, it is very important to consider political factors, such as the quality of governance, as well as economic development in order to increase secondary school enrollment. In addition, the study shows that child labor is more strongly related to secondary school enrollment than primary school enrollment.
According to the results obtained, the author proposes four policy recommendations. First, poverty reduction is very important and must be achieved by lowering fertility rates, improving income distribution, promoting female employment, and raising adult literacy rates. Secondly, because rural children are much more likely to be in the labor force and to drop out of school, especially at the secondary education level, it seems to be more effective to focus on rural areas by raising adult employment opportunities, increasing industrialization, reforming curriculum to improve educational quality/relevance and reducing socio-cultural effects by awareness-raising campaigns. Thirdly, it is important to focus on female education. Negative socio-cultural effects on female education have to be controlled through awareness-raising campaigns and the promotion of womens advancement in the economic and political spheres. Lastly, additional efforts are necessary in order to reduce child labor and promote secondary education in African countries, especially those with French-originated laws. The results show that children living in those countries seem to suffer most from economic, political and socio-cultural disadvantages.
Advisor:Clementina Acedo; Seth Spaulding; William Bickel; Rajen Mookerjee
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:administrative and policy studies
Date of Publication:04/24/2006