Does Child Labor Affect Children's School Performance in Brazil?

Marcio Eduardo Garcia Bezerra, Universidade de São Paulo
Ana L. Kassouf, Universidade de São Paulo
Mary Arends-Kuenning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

To what extent does working while attending school harm a child’s learning? In this paper, we use Brazilian school achievement test data available in the 2003 Sistema Nacional de Avaliação da Educação Básica (SAEB), to examine the effect of working on children’s achievement test scores in Portuguese and mathematics. The data also include many background variables, notably variables that proxy for the student’s motivation, such as whether the child likes school and whether the child completes assigned homework. We also use an instrumental variables approach to deal with the endogeneity of child labor for children’s schooling decisions. We find that children who work perform more poorly on achievement tests than students who do not work, and that children who work in the house are less harmed than children who work outside the home. The children who perform worst of all are those who work both inside and outside the home

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 3: Children and Youth, Adolescence, Parenting, Transition to Adulthood, Life Course