Do international labor standards contribute to the persistence of the child-labor problem?
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In recent years, a number of governments and consumer groups in rich countries have tried to discourage the use of child-labor in poor countries through measures such as product boycotts and the imposition of international labor standards. The purported objective of such measures is to reduce the incidence of child-labor in developing countries and thereby improve children’s welfare. In this paper, we examine the effects of such policies from a political-economy perspective. We show that these types of international action on child-labor tend to lower domestic political support within developing countries for banning child-labor. Hence, international labor standards and product boycotts may delay the ultimate eradication of child-labor.
KeywordsChild labor Political economy International labor standards Trade sanctions
JEL ClassificationJ20 J88 O10
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