Toiling Children in India: The Gender Dimension

Discussion Papers


by Rajnish KUMAR, Arup MITRA and Mayumi MURAYAMA

April 2012


Child labour in several low income households is rather pursued for gaining experience and at times for meagre incomes, which are possibly spent on household food expenditure. Though the contribution made by the child labour to the overall wellbeing does not turn out to be substantial, without child labour these households would have been much worse off than the households which can afford not to have child labour. The probability of working is higher for a male child compared to a girl child. This is because the girl children are often engaged in household activities and even when they are engaged in income earning jobs they are shown as helpers. Parents’ income as such may not be having a positive impact on child’s education rather it is the educational level of the parents which matters in determining whether the child would go to school and continue her/his education. To substantiate the gender bias, the probability of falling ill among the girl children is found to be higher compared to the boys. Parents’ educational attainments beyond a certain level again tend to reduce the probability of falling ill.

Keywords: India, child labour, gender, slum, education, health
JEL classification: J13, J16, J24, J31

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