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Emigration of unskilled workers increases child labor
The problem of child labor is arguably one of the most important issues of our time: Excessive effort, hazardous work, bonded labor, armed conflict, prostitution and pornography, long work hours, unhealthy working conditions, absence of schooling, malnutrition, and sexual harassment acquire a different meaning when applied to children, write Dinopoulous and Zhao. The phenomenon of child labor has been viewed as an epidemic of the global economy that must eventually be eliminated.
As per the International Labor Organization, about 15 percent of children worldwide between the ages of 5 and 14 are classified as child laborers. Of these working children, about 171 million children work in hazardous conditions and 5.7 million are forced to work against their will.
In contrast to previous economic models about child labor that assume altruistic parents reluctant to part with their children, Dinopoulos and Zhao propose a model that incorporates the idea that at least some children go to work because their parents are eager for the additional income. The study also assumes that while skilled and educated adults can do things children cannot do, working as foremen, supervisors or machine operators, children can perform similar work as unskilled adult workers, particularly in the agrarian sector.
Analyzing the economic effects of globalization on the occurence rate of child labor constitutes a high research and policy priority, the authors write. Lower migration barriers that induce unskilled adult workers to migrate from poor to rich countries, alone or with their children, increase the occurence rate of child labor.
The analysis also identifies other conditions under which globalization-related changes can affect the occurence rate of child labor, including trade policies that encourage the production of child-labor intensive products and taxes that discourage foreign investment in child-labor-free sectors in developing countries.
Posted by: Ethen Source