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Using the Malawi Integrated Household Survey of 2009 and the Tanzania National Panel Survey of 2010, this study seeks to understand the factors that increase a child`s likelihood of labor participation. A greater percentage of children in the Tanzania sample than those from the Malawi sample participate in child labor. Logistic regression analyses showed that, as hypothesized, the greatest influence on child labor observed at the individual level is the child`s school enrollment status. Enrollment reduces the likelihood of engaging in child labor in both countries. When tested in the combined model older children in Tanzania remain at higher risk of child labor participation, school enrolled children in both countries are less likely to be child laborers and the rural based children in Tanzania have higher odds of being child laborers. At the household level, a father with at least a primary education in Malawi is associated with a lesser likelihood of participation. At the community level, living in a rural area drastically increases the odds for child labor participation in Tanzania. In view of these results, country specific solutions to prevent child labor maybe necessary, given the different predictors of child labor participation in each country.


Originally published in Journal of Community Positive Practices. Volume 13. Issue 3. 2013. Pages 3-24.

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