Guatemalan Boy in Market

Guatemalan boy in market_tif480
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2 Essays

  1. Paula Stephan | Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University says:

    Markets enrich our lives by providing more opportunities than we would have in their absence. Economists have long studied their properties and benefits. Rachel’s pictures remind us of the universality and diversity of markets and how they enrich us in ways other than by simply offering the opportunity (as the late 19th century economist/sociologist Vilfredo Pareto noted) for “making someone better off without making someone else worse off.”

  2. Mihriye Mete | Georgetown University says:

    These photos first reminded me of the colorful markets of my beloved city, Istanbul. Then I thought about the children in those markets; some behind the tables, trying to sell their goods and some buying them, while holding their mother’s hands. As a mother, I immediately felt that all the children should have been the buyers in those markets. After all, they were children. As a social scientist, however, I knew that this was just wishful thinking for the countries such as Turkey and Guatemala where child labor was still a fact of life.

    Recent estimates on the participation rate of children in local markets show that Africa has the highest participation rate with 28%. It is 15% in Latin America and Asia while it is below 1.5 % in Europe. Research on this topic suggests that child labor is a direct result of poverty. Most parents in the developing world do not want their children to work, and studies show that incidence of child labor decreases when family income increases. A large majority of the children who work in low-income countries are employed by their parents and work in the farms or other family businesses. Even if some of them make an attempt to also go to school, these children generally have to sacrifice their education and hence face an equally difficult future. Researchers and policy advisers recommend that in addition to international legislation that protects children, policies that are aimed at increasing wealth and education in poorer countries would be the safest way to solve the child labor problem.