Household Electrification, Child Labor and Education in India
Mitali Sen, University of Maryland
Sonalde B. Desai, University of Maryland
While child labor and children's school enrollment are correlated in developing countries, causality is often difficult to establish. Research on schooling in India suggests that poor school quality and low returns to education may be far more important in school drop out than labor demands on children. However, once children drop out, they may begin to work. We argue that household electrification is an important exogenous variable that can be used to identify the relationship between child labor and schooling. Using data from an all India survey of 41,922 children aged 6-14, this paper tests the following hypotheses: 1. Household electrification is positively related to children's school enrollment. 2. Household electrification has a larger positive impact on school enrollment in households with larger demands for child labor. 3. Household electrification has a larger positive impact on school enrollment of household members most subject to high labor demands.
Presented in Session 109: Child Work and Schooling II