Background Material 19 July 2016

Understanding child labour beyond the standard economic assumption of monetary poverty

This paper, published in the Cambridge Journal of Economics, examines multiple factors behind child labour in Ghana. It investigates a broad range of influences such as demographic, monetary, cultural, seasonal, and school-supply factors in an effort to look beyond poverty as the sole driver. It finds that among these factors the structure of the economy, social norms, and no returns to rural basic education are of particular importance. The study concludes by outlining policy responses to reduce child labour and provide for children’s education and future livelihood opportunities.

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