The current debate on child labour focuses on developing countries. However, Portugal is an example of a relatively developed country where child labour is still a matter of concern as between 8% and 12% of Portuguese children may be classified as workers. This paper studies the patterns of child labour in Portugal and assesses the consequences of working on the educational success of Portuguese children. The analysis controls for typically unobserved attributes such as a child’s interest in school and educational ambitions and uses geographical variation in policies designed to tackle child labour and in labour inspection regimes to instrument child labour. We find that economic work hinders educational success, while domestic work does not appear to be harmful. Furthermore, after controlling for a host of socio-economic variables, factors such as a child’s interest in school and educational ambitions have a large effect on boosting educational success and reducing economic work.

Child labour, Educational ambitions, Human capital
Employment Determination; Job Creation; Demand for Labor; Self-Employment (jel J23), Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity (jel J24), Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration (jel O15)
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.econedurev.2007.07.002, hdl.handle.net/1765/22390
ISS Staff Group 1: Economics of Sustainable Development
Economics of Education Review
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Goulart, P, & Bedi, A.S. (2008). Child labour and educational success in Portugal. Economics of Education Review, 27(5), 575–587. doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2007.07.002