Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Paying kids to go to school in Nepal?

Not sure how I feel about this... Have they misidentified the problem? Is it still a surprise that people respond to incentives - even kids? Wouldn't money be better spent developing better opportunities for their parents and these kids after they finish school? (Freakonomics):

Can efforts to promote education deter child labor? We report on the findings of a field experiment where a conditional transfer incentivized the schooling of children associated with carpet factories in Nepal. We find that schooling increases and child involvement in carpet weaving decreases when schooling is incentivized. As a simple static labor supply model would predict, we observe that treated children resort to their counterfactual level of school attendance and carpet weaving when schooling is no longer incentivized. From a child labor policy perspective, our findings imply that “You get what you pay for” when schooling incentives are used to combat hazardous child labor.
For reference, this is Nepal's "Doing Business" ranking (WorldBank)

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