Trade-Off Between Schooling and Labor for Children: Understanding the Determinative Factors Among Rural Households in Bangladesh

Frontiers in Sociology 7 (7):839231 (2022)
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This research is concerned with understanding the factors behind the trade-off between child labor and child schooling, given the well-documented links between the two. It examines parents' behavior in their decision-making on their children's schooling or practicing child labor. Depending on qualitative research methods including 28 semi-structured interviews and two focus group discussions conducted in the rural areas of Bangladesh in 2020, this study reveals the following: subsistence needs compel households, particularly the ultra-poor and the female-headed, to trade off child labor with schooling; due to higher demand of labor, parents engage their children into work instead of schooling; parents of labor-intensive occupations tend to trade off child labor with schooling; sexual division of labor remains obvious; finally, credit constraints and cultural beliefs have negative impacts on parental decision-making on child schooling. Interventions aiming to reduce child labor and increase schooling in these rural areas must remain mindful of the socio-economic and cultural needs.

Author's Profile

Md Mahmudul Hoque
University of Sussex


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