The Dynamics of School and Work in Rural Bangladesh

Jose J. Canals-Cerda, University of Colorado at Boulder
Cristobal Ridao-Cano, World Bank Group

This paper investigates the effect of work on the school progress of rural Bangladeshi children. We specify a dynamic switching model for the sequence of school and work outcomes up to the end of secondary school. This approach allows us to evaluate the dynamic effects of work on school progress. We find that work has a negative and sizable effect on school progress and are able to measure this effect for different groups of children. Our results highlight the relevance of policies aimed at increasing school progress through reductions in child work and the importance of accompanying these policies by efforts to improve the adverse environment that working children face. We evaluate the dynamic effects of three policies: compulsory primary schooling, compulsory school entry at age six and universal access to secondary school. We find that these policies have a sizable effect on school progress and child labor.

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Presented in Session 68: Determinants and Consequences of Educational Attainment