The Influence of the Mother’s Power on Her Child’s Labor in Mexico

Iliana Reggio, University of California, Los Angeles

According to International Labour Organization (ILO), 211 million children between 5 to 14 years old were engaged in some type of economic activity in 2000. In Latin America, for instance, children's participation rate was 17%. These figures show child labor as a pervasive phenomenon. It is therefore relevant to understand the reasons behind it, in order to find ways to diminish its negative effects on children's development. This paper, using Mexican data (Mexican Family Life Survey), analyzes the impact of the mother’s relative decision power in the household, on her children’s work. The model developed in the paper predicts that if the parent with more aversion for child labor gets more power, the child will work less. The main empirical result is that higher mother’s power is associated with less hours of child labor. This implies that policies that give more power to the mother would reduce child labor.

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Presented in Poster Session 4