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Understanding Poverty$
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Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, Roland Bénabou, and Dilip Mookherjee

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305197

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195305191.001.0001

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Policy Dilemmas for Controlling Child Labor

Policy Dilemmas for Controlling Child Labor

(p.259) 17 Policy Dilemmas for Controlling Child Labor
Understanding Poverty

Kaushik Basu

Oxford University Press

This essay attempts to show that seemingly reasonable policy interventions can easily backfire in the area of child labor. Thus, policy interventions cannot be left at the level of broad-brush statements but need to be crafted carefully. The general possibility of pathological reactions to policy interventions will be discussed, and one particular pathology will be spelled out in some detail because this is a problem that seems not to have been discussed in the literature, and also because it provides a generic illustration of the hazard of using standard instruments for curbing child labor.

Keywords:   policy intervention, employment, government, fines, wages, punishment

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