Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 77
Being the first born of a family entails inherent responsibilities. Sociologists, psychologists and economists have long argued that the first born's receive differentiated treatment within the household. This paper tests and quantifies the existence of a disproportionate workload over the oldest child in poor households: we call it the first born burden. We are concerned with the determinants of such work burden, and we analyze how access to basic infrastructure could release children from work. The empirical results for rural areas in Ghana confirm a systematic selection of first born's to work. Although access to infrastructure may not reallocate evenly the workload among siblings, it indeed relaxes the children's time constraints.
child labor time allocation birth order infrastructure water