Child labor and school enrollment in Thailand in the 1990s
Economics of Education Review Volume 22, Number 5 ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
This paper examines the broad patterns, trends and characteristics of child labor in Thailand in the last decade. It then undertakes an empirical analysis which suggests that the determinants of education and child labor, and policies to address them, are sensitive with respect to the age of the child and income of the family. Education subsidies are found to be justified from a social policy point of view. The cost benefit simulations suggest that private considerations make children withdraw from school and join the labor market earlier than is socially desirable. However, subsidies alone will not reduce child labor/increase education by much: the econometric results suggest that the education/child labor response of such incentives is small, albeit statistically significant. Therefore, public support to basic education should continue along with policies that enhance growth and reduce poverty. These measures are very much preventive and unable to improve the working conditions of those children who will keep working or unlikely to make many children withdraw from the labor force. Those children that will remain at work will benefit from a combination of a more rigorous enforcement of regulations against exploitative forms of child labor, targeted schemes (for example, for boys in the construction sector and girls in prostitution), awareness campaigns and greater participation of local organizations, communities, unions and employers in the design and implementation of these programs.
Tzannatos, Z. Child labor and school enrollment in Thailand in the 1990s. Economics of Education Review, 22(5), 523-536. Elsevier Ltd.