Child Labor and Forest Resource Collection: Variation in Individual Fertility Preferences in Nepal
Prem Bahadur Bhandari, Pennsylvania State University
Sundar S. Shrestha, Pennsylvania State University
Nalini Chhetri, Pennsylvania State University
We investigate the effect of child labor use in forest resources (firewood and fodder) collection in shaping individual fertility preferences. We hypothesize that the use of child labor in forest resource collection positively shapes individual family size preferences. Using the data from Chitwan Valley of Nepal, we find that individuals living in households that use child labor in forest resources collection prefer larger family size than those living in households that do not. In aggregate, results show no difference in the family size preferences by gender. However, a disaggregated analysis shows that males living in households that use child labor for firewood collection prefer significantly larger family size than males living in households that do not use child labor. On the other hand, among females, those living in households that use child labor for fodder collection prefer significantly larger family size than females living in households that do not.