In this paper, we investigate the impact of child and adult survival on child labour. We find that, while a rise in adult longevity always has a negative effect on child labour because it increases the returns in education, the impact of child mortality reduction depends on the initial level of income. At a low income level, where parents choose zero or a very low level of education for their children, an increase in child survival, ceteris paribus, renders quantity more attractive than quality because it decreases the net cost of having children. Our results are in line with empirical evidence that suggests a non linear relationship between child labour and child survival. We therefore offer an additional explanation for the persistence of child labour at stagnant per capita income levels.
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