Child labor and the minimum wage: Evidence from India

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This study examines how changes in the minimum wage affect child labor in India. The analysis uses repeated cross sections of India's NSSO employment data from 1983 to 2008 merged with data on state-level minimum wage rates. Theoretically, the impact of the minimum wage on child work could go either way, so empirical evidence from a country with high rates of child labor and a myriad of minimum wage laws across states and industries helps to lessen the ambiguity. Results indicate that regardless of gender, in urban areas, a higher minimum wage reduces child labor in household work. In rural areas a similar result applies for girls while household labor does rise for boys. The minimum wage has virtually no impact on child work outside of the home across urban and rural areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-494
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Comparative Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


  • Child labor
  • Employment
  • India
  • Minimum wage

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