Duraisamy, Malathy: Child Schooling and Child Work in India
World Conference Econometric Society, 2000, Seattle

Malathy Duraisamy, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai
Child Schooling and Child Work in India
Session: C-13-8  Wednesday 16 August 2000  by Duraisamy, Malathy
In India, about 62 percent of the children in the age group of 5-14 are currently enrolled in schools, and 4 percent of children are reported to be working. The remaining 34 percent of children in this age group are neither enrolled in school nor reported as participating in work. The twin problems of child schooling and child work in India have not been adequately addressed in the literature. Another important dimension to this problem is the gender disparity in school enrollment. Available data indicate that the enrollment rate of girls is 12 percent below that of boys.
This paper investigates the determinants of schooling and work participation of boys and girls using a large scale national level survey data, 1994, of the NCAER. The main contribution of this paper lies in integrating the child schooling and work participation decisions and bringing the third category of children referred to as the 'invisible' children into the rigorous econometric analysis.
The widely used household demand model is applied in this study to analyze the family's decisions concerning the schooling and work participation of their children. These decisions are formulated in a dichotomous and a trichotomous choice framework and empirically estimated using maximum likelihood probit and multinomial logit methods. The likelihood ratio test suggests that the trichotomous model is the preferred formulation of the family's decisions on children's schooling and work participation.
The empirical estimates based on both the models point to certain interesting findings. Parental education, and family income significantly increase the probability of children's school attendance and reduce the likelihood of children participating in work. Mother's education exerts a much stronger effect of increasing school enrollment and reducing child labor. Availability of middle schools within the village increases the school attendance and reduces child labor.
The estimates of the gender specific differences in the determinants of schooling and work participation of children suggest that maternal education increases more the likelihood of a girl child's school enrollment than boys and also reduces more the work participation of girls over boys.
Submitted paper full-text in .pdf


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