Child Labor and Conflict: Evidence from Afghanistan

We study the impact of conflict on both the extensive and the intensive margin of child labor in Afghanistan. We identify and test two main mechanisms. First, if conflict reduces a household income through a decline in parent's compensations, child labor may insure against the decrease in consumption (extensive margin). Second, a child may work longer hours if the marginal benefits of working under conflict is greater than its marginal cost, which may depend on the relative compensations between adults and children, and on the alternative activities (e.g. schooling). Using detailed conflict data from the Afghan War Diary we identify the effect of conflict relying on a shift-share IV strategy. We find that conflict increases the probability that girls work, but reduces the number of hours worked. Our results suggest that this is due to a decrease in household income and an increase in the relative compensations of adults.

Issue Date:
Jul 20 2017
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
J13, D74
Series Statement:
ISSN: 1436-9931

 Record created 2017-07-20, last modified 2018-01-23

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