This paper analyzes the problem of child labor in an infinite-horizon dynamic model with a variable rate of time preference and credit constraints. The variability in the rate of time preference leads to the possibility of multiple steady states and a poverty trap. The paper considers the long-run and short-run effects of an array of policies like enrollment subsidy, improvement in primary education infrastructure, lump-sum subsidy, and variations in loan market parameters. We distinguish between policies that reduce child labor in the long run only in the presence of a variable discount rate and other policies which work whether or not the discount rate is variable. Credit-related policies belong to the former group. Policies that reduce child labor and increase family consumption in the long run may have an adverse effect of lowering consumption in the short run.
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