Social norms and child labor

Shirit Katav Herz, Gil S. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Child labor is a widespread phenomenon and therefore is of interest to both researchers and policy-makers. Various reasons for the existence of child labor have been proposed with the goal of designing appropriate solutions. While household poverty is viewed as the main reason for child labor, we choose to focus on the phenomenon that parents who worked during their own childhood are more likely to send their children to work. We also look at the effect of social norms on the parents’ child labor decision and analyze both these effects on the supply of labor and equilibrium in the labor market. Finally, we suggest an explanation for the phenomenon of poor societies with similar income levels that differ significantly in literacy rates, and we propose policy improvements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-638
Number of pages12
JournalReview of Development Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2022


  • child labor
  • intergenerational transmission
  • social norms

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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