Child labor activities and schooling decisions in rural Côte d'Ivoire
We leverage data on 1,857 families in 140 rural cocoa-growing communities of Côte d'Ivoire to report on child work activities and schooling decisions. We distinguish between unpaid domestic labor and unpaid agricultural child labor activities reported by children in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that more than 80% of children participate in at least one household work activity and more than 50% in at least one agricultural work activity, with differences between boys and girls. Older boys performed more unpaid agricultural work activities, and girls performed more domestic work activities. Thirty-five percent of children were engaged in unpaid agricultural child labor, a rate similar to a national estimate of child labor in cocoa-growing communities of Côte d’Ivoire in 2018/19. Agricultural child labor and schooling are predicted by a child’s age and gender, household factors such as parental age, family size, multidimensional poverty, and community factors, especially community-level child labor rates. Social protection and education programs targeting older boys could improve their schooling outcomes and reduce agricultural child labor. Likewise, addressing acute poverty with multifaceted programs reducing consumption-based poverty, poor parental education, and improving community infrastructures could reduce child labor.