Determinants of Child Labor and Schooling in Rural Households of Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Ethiopia is characterized by high incidence of child labour and low school enrollment. There is no specialized body with the primary responsibility of mitigating child labour; even worse, the existing legal provisions about child rights are far from implementation in the rural parts of the country where the vast majority of the children reside and where child labour is pervasive. With the objective of investigating factors that determine child labour and schooling the study adopted a more inclusive definition of child work. Using the seventh round Ethiopian Rural Household Survey data the study adopted multinomial logit (MNL) model to estimate child work-schooling outcomes. The results from the empirical analysis suggest that both economic and sociological factors are important determinants of child labour and school attendance in rural Ethiopia. The main findings from the study are the existence of positive and significant association between child work and number of infants and biological relationship to the household head while age and education level of the household head, household size and average schooling level of the community, among others, having significant but negative effect on child work specialization. The major determinants of school attendance include education level of the household head, eqqub membership of household, average schooling level in the peasant association and distance to school. The finding that some of the variables (number of adults, number of infants, access to loan) affect work-school outcomes differently for boys and girls shows the presence of gender bias. From policy perspective, provision of productive and labour saving assets, instituting saving and credit associations and investment in educational infrastructure should deserve essential place in the move to curb child labour and promote school attendance.



Determinants of Child Labor and Schooling