DP7196 International Labor Standards and the Political Economy of Child Labor Regulation

Author(s): Matthias Doepke, Fabrizio Zilibotti
Publication Date: March 2009
Keyword(s):
JEL(s): J20
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7196

Child labor is a persistent phenomenon in many developing countries. In recent years, support has been growing among rich-country governments and consumer groups for the use of trade policies, such as product boycotts and the imposition of international labor standards, to reduce child labor in poor countries. In this paper, we discuss research on the long-run implications of such policies. In particular, we demonstrate that such measures may have the unintended side effect of lowering domestic support for banning child labor within developing countries, and thus may contribute to the persistence of the child-labor problem.