Segmentation in the market for child labor: The economics of child labor revisited

James G. Scoville

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recent events have focused attention on international labor standards, with some special attention being paid to child labor. The diverse forms of child labor are often merged into one: a stereotype of "children sewing Nikes," although the situation varies widely from that model. Certain forms of child labor are not substitutable by adult labor; others are more appropriately modeled as a form of apprenticeship. A simple family utility function helps elucidate the reasons. The ultimate purpose of the paper is to challenge the policy ambiguity-we cannot tell whether restrictions on child labor are good or bad-that was a result in Basu and Van's earlier (1998) modeling of child labor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-723
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Economics and Sociology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2002

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