GOING BEYOND POVERTY.PARENTS’ DECISIONS ABOUT SCHOOLING ANDCHILD LABOR IN GUADALAJARA, MEXICO
Why do children work? • In Latin America and in many developing countries, many children work and study (López, 2005; Blanco, 2009; Gustafsson-Wright, 2000). • Economic development and child labor are strongly correlated (Edmonds, 2005) • Poverty is seen as one of the main causes (López, 2005; Basu y Van, 1998; Ureña, 2008; Canagarajah, et.al., 1997; Heady 2000; Edmonds, 2005) • Is related with household well-being (Dar et.al. 2002)
The negative aspects of Child Labor▫ It impacts children’s long term ability to satisfy their needs through a more effective use of personal resources (Behrman, 1989)▫ Decreases the possibility of having a good income. In México a person with 6 years of schooling earns almost 100% more than someone without studies. The difference with someone who completed secondary school is of 170% (López, 2005:91).▫ Child labor contributes to create a poverty trap as households substitute education by child work, in an attempt to increase daily income within the household. (Ravallion, et.al, 2000; Ureña, 2008)▫ Is a constraint to human capital , and therefore, to economic growth and development (Udry, 2006; Glewwe & Hacoby, 1994).▫ Boys and girls that go to school at the same time that work, decrease their learning competence because of the lack of time for studying and because of being tired (Heady, 2000)▫ Can be hazardous (UNICEF, 1991; Kurz & Prather, 1995; López, 2005; OIT, 2004)
Research Background• Programa de Rescate de Familias en situación de Calle, Municipality of Guadalajara. (2008) ▫ Social program aimed to reduce children’s work on the streets and to increase school attendance.• Money transfers during 6 months.• The objective: reduce costs of schooling and promote the improvement of living conditions.
Results were not satisfactory…• School attendance didn’t increase significantly and children presence on the streets didn’t changed as expected.• Hypothesis: ▫ 1) Duration of the support that families were receiving was too short for getting work training or finding a new jobs, when most of them were lacking basic education. ▫ 2) The money transfers were not high enough to support a family without children’s income.
• There is not a monotonic relationship between reductions in poverty and reduction in child labor (Rogers and Swinnerton, 2004; Ravallion and Wodon, 2000) ▫ All the families that received money transfers were on the lowest poverty level; still many of them were sending their children to school even when they were not enrolled in the program. ▫ (2007) Study on working families in Guadalajara. 335 children were working on the streets and within the main markets of the municipality. Almost 50% of boys and girls were working and studying.Using income as main variable doesn’t explain child labor in Guadalajara.
Research Question Initial Question •Why some families that work children work and on the streets send their have others do not, when you children to school and others the same need for a better do not? income?
Hypothesis• Culture plays a significant role in shaping parents’ decisions about child labor and schooling; but also, in facilitating the existence of an informal market that makes it easy for children to work.
I’m arguing that…Culture Perceived Child labor Cost of and Existence of Schooling Schooling informal market
Main argument• Mandatory education and free public education reduce costs of attending school; but, resource constraints and an accessible and flexible labor market increase the perceived cost of schooling. Given the possibility of working and studying at the same time, culture and gender based prejudice play a significant role in parents’ decisions about child labor and schooling.
Main Aim• To incorporate cultural arguments in the perception of costs of schooling in order to better understand determinants of child time allocation in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Purpose of this research• To contribute to the knowledge base by exploring the influence of culture, family ideologies and gender values on child labor.• Seeks to better explain the interaction of culture, opportunity structures and calculation in sustaining child labor.
Literature Review• Poverty• Relative return to child time in schooling• Parental preferences in child time allocation decisions• Variables: ▫ Income level, Child labor, School attendance ▫ Parents’ education, Number of siblings, Family size, Proportion of older siblings, Number of brothers, Number of sisters, Family headship
PovertyChildren work when the family is unable to meet basic needs (Basuand Van 1998)As a survival strategy (Brown, Deardorff and Stern 2003).Children’s contribution to household income (Psacharopoulos1997, Menon, Pareli and Rosati 2005),Link between national income and economic activity rates ofchildren (Edmonds 2008).No clear relationship between economic status and child labor(Psacharopoulos 1997); especially when poor households arecompared with rich households (Edmonds 2008).
Relative return to child time inschooling and parental preferences• Can be affected by living arrangements, fertility (Patrinos and Psacharopoulos 1997, V. Levy 1985, Hazan and Berdugo 2002)…• …and market imperfections in credit, land and goods markets (Ranjan 2001, Guarcello, Mealli and Rosati 2003).• It is also influenced by how parents value play, domestic work, formal labor or school costs.• Strongly linked with parental preferences in child time allocation decisions; this is, between time in work activities relative to non-work activities (Rosati and Rossi 2003).
Filling the Gap• Few works have incorporated family values and gender based prejudice, to understand parents decisions about child labor and schooling.• Buchmann (2000). Considers parents’ perceptions and gender based prejudice• No other research that I know has considered family ideology and gender based values to understand parents’ decisions about child labor and schooling, even when research has shown that work is a social act embedded in social and cultural dynamics (Beşpinar-Ekici 2007) and when comparative studies have shown important differences due to cultural aspects (Ray 2000).
Child work and child labor• Child labor: Children working “before they reached the lawful minimum age for employment in their country” (UNICEF 2005, 7).• Market-oriented activities; activities that involve the “direct production of economic goods and services (…) whether for the market, for [exchange], or for own consumption, the production of all other goods and services for the market and, in the case of households which produce such goods and services for the market, the corresponding production for own consumption” (ILO 2000, 1)
Child work• Traditional definitions do not include domestic work and marginal activities.• Marginal activities, as defined by INEGI, include begging, cleaning windshields and selling “pity”, among other activities.• They are characterized by being transactions that take place in one direction. This is, transactions in which the service was not asked; where it is not the result of demand. On a strict sense it is not an authentic economic transaction (INEGI 2007).
Why a different definition• Children are exposed to the same risks and similar activities than children who work selling on the streets. (It is a form of child-labor)• They are also a source of family income• One or maybe the only activity that small children perform (misrepresentation or children’s participation)• The inclusion of marginal activities will help me to identify significant variations among gender.
The perceived cost of schooling• The expected income of children if working instead of studying. Cost of schooling Family Income Perceived cost of Children’s income (present) schooling Expected income (future) VALUE in Education
Child labor and culture: the families • (2007) At least 1165 persons working on the streets of the municipality of Guadalajara. Which represent approximately 250 families. • At least 40 of them are mixtecos that live in the poorer zones of Guadalajara.
Mixtecos Mixtecos Mixtecos TapatiosCol. Ferrocarrilera Col. Ferrocarrilera El Embarcadero2nd generation Recently arrived Recently arrived Born in the city orFamiliesA family member owns a Place of their own, Irregular settlement, share surroundings Rent a place for their family.place to live previously from a relative the place with other Lease or borrow a room in a (don’t have papers, but feel families relative’s house. as if their own)1 or 2 households in the Mostly 1 household per 2 or more households in Mostly 1 household per placesame property place of residence the same property of residenceChildren under 5 are still Children under 5 are still Children under 5 are still Children need to go to schoolsmall for attending school small for attending school small for attending school since they are 3 years oldBoth men and women can Men are mainly gardeners; Men are mainly gardeners; Both men and women can sellsell on the streets women sell on the streets women sell on the streets on the streets, but they are mainly “franeleros”Both parents try to learn Few adults speak Spanish. Few adults speak Spanish. Spanish speakersSpanish or know itTrying to improve living Not really interested in The poorest of all. Trying to improve livingconditions. Strong interest changing their way of life conditions. Strong interest inin children’s education. Do and no much interest in children’s education. Do notnot want a 3rd generation children’s school. want their children workingof street vendors. on the streets. All of them share the lack of opportunities because of education level
Research questions and hypotheses• 1. How do the school system and the informal market influence child labor in Guadalajara? ▫ To analyze the characteristics of the school system and the labor market in Guadalajara that facilitate child labor. Time spent at school in addition to the probability of getting a good income in the informal labor market makes it easy for children to work and study at the same time.
• 2. Why do some poor families send their children to work and others do not, even when they have similar living conditions? ▫ To identify the general determinants of child labor for the case of Mexico.•Minimal differences in cost of schooling, when incomelevel is too low, can have a significant impact in schoolattendance.•Families do a huge effort to send their child to school,because there is still a strong belief on school as a sourcefor improving future income.
• 3. How do culture and family values influence parents’ perception about costs of schooling? ▫ To understand the influence of experience in Guadalajara and culture, over preferences about schooling. Culture and family background influence parents’ decisions about child labor and schooling. Families who were raised in Guadalajara have a different idea of what a child should be doing in early age, than indigenous families who recently arrived to Guadalajara…
• 4. How do prejudice about boys’ and girls’ differences influence parents’ decisions about work and schooling? ▫ To analyze the effects of gender stereotypes on children’s participation in the labor market and school attendance. The minor presence of girls working on the streets can be understood as the result of an exclusion process strongly embedded in a culture in which women’s tasks and responsibilities are socially defined and limited in such a way that an important part of their work is not visible.
Methodology Methodology Sample Objective Data Source Concurrent mixed Families that work on the To explore the influence of Interviews with method approach streets of Guadalajara (FWS- culture, family ideologies andworking families Gdl) gender values on child labor Survey data Working children at the ENIGH national level ENOE Household interviews FWS-Gdl To measure the relationship Interviews with between the perceived cost of working families schooling and child labor. Survey data Semi-structured Two different groups: Mixtecos The influence of culture and Interviews with interviews from Oaxaca who currently live family values on perceptions working families in Guadalajara and have about costs of schooling Ethnographic research children working on the streets, on the streets of and working families who were Guadalajara born in Guadalajara Econometric Analysis Children who work in Mexico Analyze economic and social Recent data on child factors that affect child labor labor in Mexico and Schooling at the national level. Analyze cultural factors from a quantitative perspective.
Notes about the sample• Families that work on the streets: children with similar working conditions, and economic background.• Recent data on child labor in Mexico will let me analyze economic and social factors that affect child labor and Schooling at the national level.• Focusing on poor people will allow me to go beyond poverty in the analysis.• The possibility of comparing an indigenous migrant population with local residents will allow me to identify cultural differences that could influence parents’ decisions.
Significance• Incorporating cultural factors to understand parents’ decisions about child work is important because it can help policy makers to better target child labor and schooling.• Understanding cultural differences could help implement public programs that better target population needs.• By applying Buchmann’s analysis to the case of Mexico, I will be able to develop a theoretical framework that accounts for the determinants of child labor in developing countries with strong sex- stereotypes.
Tentative organization of thedissertation• Introduction Child labor, school attendance and gender: A review of the literature Sample, methods and Data analysis• Chapter 1. Child labor and school attendance in Mexico The correlation between child labor and schooling Determinants of child labor and schooling Child labor and the perceived cost of schooling• Chapter 2. Children in the informal market: The case of children working on the streets of Guadalajara. Informal labor market and school system The city as a public space for working and living: “Guadalajara is not Mexico City...” Working children in Guadalajara• Chapter 3. Culture, family ideology and children’s presence on the streets. Being indígena, indigenas in the city and being tapatios… what does it means? Cultural differences among indigenous population and Mestizos.• Chapter 4. Where do girls hide? Differences among boys and girls.• Chapter 5. Theoretical and Empirical contributions of the dissertation to Current Debates in Sociology• Conclusions.• Appendixes.• References.