This study uses a nationally representative survey to analyze a key survey design decision in child labor measurement: self-reporting versus proxy interviewing. The child/proxy disagreement affects 20% of the sample, which translates into a 17.1 percentage point difference in the national rate of child labor. Marginal effects from standard child labor supply functions show child/proxy differences, particularly when the household experienced negative shocks. We find that attitudes and social perceptions toward child labor are not related to the likelihood of disagreement. A modified bivariate choice model reports statistically significant probabilities of misclassification that range between 9% and 30%.

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Keywords Child labor, Maximum likelihood, Peru, Self/proxy designs, Survey design
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Journal World Development
Dammert, A, & Galdo, J. (2013). Child labor variation by type of respondent: Evidence from a large-scale study. World Development, 51, 207–220. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.06.002