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The influence of Bolsa Familia conditional cash transfer program on child labor in Brazil

Paloma Santana Moreira Pais (Rural Economics Department, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil)
Felipe de Figueiredo Silva (Rural Economics Department, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil)
Evandro Camargos Teixeira (Rural Economics Department, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 13 February 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The Brazilian Government created the Bolsa Familia program to combat poverty and the insertion of so many children into the labor market. This program is an income transfer program subject to certain conditions such as a minimum school attendance for children under 17 years of age. In 2006, almost half of the people with an income per capita of R$300.00 (US$139.53) per month declared that they received this benefit. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of Bolsa Familia on child labor in Brazil in 2006.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a propensity score matching model with data from the National Household Sample Survey PESQUISA NACIONAL POR AMOSTRA DE DOMICÍLIOS (PNAD), for 2006.

Findings

Results indicate that the program increased the number of hours of child labor in Brazil. However, this outcome might be explained by the fact that those families who received Bolsa Familia were also those with higher socioeconomic vulnerability. Thus, they need to guarantee their survival with the income generated via child labor.

Social implications

The Brazilian Government needs to invest not only in monetary transfer policies but also in the improvement of the job market to create opportunities for the social development of children.

Originality/value

The contribution of the paper is the investigation into the effect of the Bolsa Familia program on the average time allocated to child labor; the authors find that this time allocation could be reduced by requiring a compulsory school attendance.

Keywords

Citation

Pais, P.S.M., Silva, F.d.F. and Teixeira, E.C. (2017), "The influence of Bolsa Familia conditional cash transfer program on child labor in Brazil", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 44 No. 2, pp. 206-221. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-02-2015-0038

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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