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Poverty Alleviation and Child Labor  Image

Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

Poverty Alleviation and Child Labor

Summary

Poor women with children in Ecuador were selected at random for a cash transfer equivalent to 7 percent of monthly expenditures. The transfer is greater than the increase in schooling costs at the end of primary school, but it is less than 20 percent of median child labor earnings in the labor market. Poor families with children in school at the time of the award use the extra income to postpone the child's entry into the labor force. Students in families induced to take-up the cash transfer by the experiment reduce their involvement in paid employment by 78 percent and unpaid economic activity inside their home by 32 percent. These declines in economic activity are accompanied by an increase in time in unpaid household services, but overall time spent working declines.

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