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Market Access and Child Labour: Survey Evidence from Rural Uganda

Discussion Papers 1251, 35 S.

Tony Muhumuza


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The study analyses the relationship between access to rural product markets and the extent and nature of child labour. It is built on the view that if physical markets can shape rural development through, for instance, influencing prices, household production decisions and employment, the associated activity growth could increase child labour. Using household survey data from Uganda, I find that children increase time in domestic work when local product markets are distant, while their time in economic activity declines. A similar pattern is observed for the incidence of child labour. The likelihood of child labour in domestic activity increases for each extra hour of travel to the market, while child labour in economic activity declines. This could reflect the possibility that households may switch child work from market-oriented activities to domestic work when they are remotely located from markets. Results confirm findings from earlier cross-country studies that access to product markets may be detrimental to children. Second, they demonstrate that the effect of the markets varies, depending on the age of children, as well as the nature of the work they engage in.

JEL-Classification: J22;J82;O12
Keywords: Child labour, market access, Uganda
Frei zugängliche Version: (econstor)