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The effects of child labor on adult health

Grant number: 07/00697-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2007
Effective date (End): October 31, 2007
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Economics - Quantitative Methods Applied to Economics
Principal researcher:André Portela Fernandes de Souza
Grantee:Marislei Nishijima
Home Institution: Escola de Economia de São Paulo (EESP). Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This research project intends to investigate if the child labor is harmful to the health of adult workers in Brazil. Furthermore, it plans to study if different child labor activities and distinct child entry ages in the labor market affect distinctly their health when they become adults. The Brazilian case is important because: two thirds of adult population started working before 14 years old; and its effects on adult’s health have been scarcely studied. This prevents a proper design of social and health policies, even though there is a generalized belief of the harmful effects of child labor on adult health. We use data from Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios (PNAD), for the years 1998 and 2003 - which include supplementary survey of health - and the year 1996 which has information about the parents’ education and the first occupation of the head of household. We will estimate models of instrumental variables to study the causality relation between child labor and adult health, using school supply to instrument the former. This procedure intends to solve the potential endogeneity of child labor and adult’s health, accrued from omission of relevant variables not observed which affects both the adult health and the decision of child work, such as genetic characteristics and family preferences. (AU)

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