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Attending School, Two "Rs" and child work in Rural Ethiopia

Abstract: 

Rural Ethiopia has amongst the highest rates of children's labor force activity in the world. Children start assuming household and farm responsibilities as early as four years of age and on average contribute 29-30 hours of labor per week. This paper examines the consequences of working on the formal human capital development of children. In particular, we investigate whether the number of hours worked by children has an effect on school attendance and on their reading and writing ability (RWA). An intermediate step in our analysis, before assessing consequences, is identification of the factors that determine the allocation of children's time to school and work. A noteworthy aspect here is our assessment of the link between the spread of modern agricultural technologies and child work.

In our study we detect a non-linear relationship between hours of work and school attendance/RWA of children. Initially there is a positive link between working and schooling/RWA. However, at between 16-22 hours of weekly work, we find that the ability of a child to read and write begins to suffer while school attendance is not affected. Beyond this threshold RWA and school attendance suffer. In terms of determinants we find that agricultural modernization has a mixed effect. While the availability of agricultural machinery reduces the demand for child labor other technologies such as the spread of improved seeds, at least in the short run, increases the burden of work

Corporate Author: 
Alemayehu Seyoum ... [et al.] (editor)
Publisher: 
Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA)
Primary Descriptors: 

Child labor; Schooling and work

Secondary Descriptor: 

Child Developmet; School attendance

Geographic Descriptors: 
Ethiopia, Rural
Cataloge Date: 
02/27/2013
Broad Subject heading: 
Labour Children (Child Labour)
Call Number: 
330.963 PRO 2005
Serial Key Title: 
Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Ethiopian Economy
Publication catagory: 
Content type: 
Volume: 
I
Publication date: 
2013-05-27 23:05:00
Forum or Discussion date: 
2013-02-27 14:55:42
Place of publication: 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Type of material: 
Book
Current frequency: 
Annualy