This paper theoretically analyzes a situation wherein adults' decisions on child labor are affected not only by materialistic utility but also by a social norm against child labor. The adult thus faces a tradeoff; on the one hand, household income rises if she sends her child to work. On the other hand, the adult suffers disutility from violating the social norm in so doing. We also suppose that the extent of disutility falls as more other adults have their children work. We then explore how the total amount of child labor in an economy changes as adults' labor efficiencies rise or become more unequal. Our analysis reveals that a more equal distribution or rises in adults' labor efficiency help decrease child labor only under certain conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas