On the mother and child labor nexus under credit constraints: Findings from rural India

Yasuyuki Sawada, Kensuke Kubo, Nobuhiko Fuwa, Seiro Ito, Takashi Kurosaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


There is an emerging consensus that lack of credit is a major cause of child labor and inequality in the intrahousehold distribution of resources. At the same time, patterns in how children spend their time appear to be strongly influenced by maternal employment decisions. This paper includes an assessment of the effect of credit constraints on maternal employment and that of maternal employment on the intrahousehold allocation of labor, a nexus which has been left unexplored by existing studies. Three findings emerge: (1) a mother is more likely to work outside when a household lacks resources, and her domestic labor can be easily replaced by other members, (2) credit market accessibility is one of the major determinants of maternal labor, and (3) elder daughters assume a large part of the burden of maternal employment by providing domestic labor. Under binding credit constraints, results of this study support the collective as opposed to the unitary model of households.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-499
Number of pages35
JournalDeveloping Economies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Child labor
  • Credit constraints
  • Gender discrimination
  • India
  • Intrahousehold resource allocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics


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