Origins and Consequences of Child Labor Restrictions: A Macroeconomic Perspective

  • Matthias Doepke
  • Dirk Krueger UCLA


In this paper we investigate the positive and normative consequences of child-labor restrictions for economic aggregates and welfare. We argue that even though the laissez-faire equilibrium may be inefficient, there are usually better policies to cure these inefficiencies than the imposition of a childlabor ban. Given this finding, we investigate the potential political-economic reasons behind the emergence and persistence of child-labor legislation. Our investigation is based on a structural dynamic general equilibrium model that provides a coherent and uniform framework for our analysis.


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