In this week’s installment of the Economics seminar series, we hosted Assistant Professor Barış Alpaslan from Social Sciences University of Ankara Department of Economics. Doctor Alpaslan provided a detailed account of his research on the relationship between child labor, access to infrastructure and economic growth, particularly for low income countries. We would like to thank Professor Alpaslan for providing his insight on this important issue. Below, you can find the abstract of her paper.

Abstract: This paper develops a three-period, gender-based overlapping generations model of economic growth with heterogeneity in parental preferences, endogenous intra-household bargaining, and child labor in home production by girls.
Improved access to infrastructure reduces the amount of time parents find optimal for their daughters to spend on household chores, thereby allowing them to allocate more time to studying at home. The model is calibrated for a low income country and various quantitative experiments are conducted, including an increase in the share of public spending on infrastructure, an increase in time allocated by mothers to their daughters, and a decrease in fathers’ preference for their daughters’ education. Our analysis shows that poor access by families to infrastructure may provide an endogenous explanation, complementary to those focusing solely on social norms and cultural values, for the persistence of child labor at home and gender inequality in low-income countries.

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