Does childhood work impede long term human capital accumulation? Evidence from rural Ethiopia

Mussa, Essa Chanie / Alisher Mirzabaev / Assefa Admassie / Emmanuel Nshakira-Rukundo / Joachim von Braun
External Publications (2019)

in: International Journal of Educational Development (66), 234-246


We examine the long-term effects of childhood work on human capital formation in rural Ethiopia using a unique panel dataset constructed through tracking of children after sixteen years. The findings show that full-time childhood work impedes long-term grade attainment and transitions between school cycles. Furthermore, childhood work-entry age non-linearly affects children’s long-term school transitions. The effects, however, are heterogeneous by child gender and work types. Eliminating full-time childhood work should be at the core of the country’s human capital development agenda. Nevertheless, a blanket ban on all forms of childhood work may be infeasible at best or counterproductive at worst.


About the author

Rukundo, Emmanuel Nshakira

Development Economics


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