Papers, please! The effect of birth registration on child labor and education in early 20th century USA

Fagernäs, Sonja (2014) Papers, please! The effect of birth registration on child labor and education in early 20th century USA. Explorations in Economic History, 52. pp. 63-92. ISSN 0014-4983

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Abstract

A birth certificate establishes a child's legal identity and age, but few quantitative estimates of the significance of birth registration exist. Birth registration laws were enacted by U.S. states in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Using 1910–1930 census data, this study finds that minimum working age legislation was twice as effective in reducing under-aged employment if children had been born with a birth registration law, with positive implications for school attendance. There is some evidence that registration laws also improved the enforcement of schooling laws for younger children. A retrospective analysis with the 1960 census shows that the long-term effect of registration laws was to increase educational attainment by approximately 0.1 years.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Economics
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America
H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Sonja Fagernas
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2013 11:47
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2015 09:33
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/46849
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