Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Child Labour and Schooling Responses to Access to Microcredit in Rural Bangladesh

Islam, Asadul and Choe, Chongwoo (2009): Child Labour and Schooling Responses to Access to Microcredit in Rural Bangladesh.

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Abstract

Microcredit has been shown to be effective in reducing poverty in many developing countries. However, less is known about its effect on human capital formation. In this paper, we develop a model examining the relation between microcredit and child labour. We then empirically examine the impact of access to microcredit on children’s education and child labour using a new and large data set from rural Bangladesh. We address the selection bias using the instrumental variable method where the instrument relies on an exogenous variation in treatment intensity among households in different villages. The results show that household participation in a microcredit program may increase child labour and reduce school enrolment. The adverse effects are more pronounced for girls than boys. Younger children are more adversely affected than their older siblings and the children of poorer and less educated households are affected most adversely. Our findings remain robust to different specifications and methods, and when corrected for various sources of selection bias.

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