Grant Miller - Stanford University, School of Medicine

Anti-Poverty Programs, Human Trafficking, and Child Labor: Evidence from Brazil’s Bolsa Familia Program

    Date:  10/28/2021 (Thu)

    Time:  3:30pm- 5:00pm

    Location:  Seminar will be held on-site: Gross Hall 270

    Organizer:  Marcos Rangel

Meeting Schedule: (Not currently open for scheduling. Please contact the seminar organizer listed above.)

    All meetings will be held in the same location as the seminar unless otherwise noted.

    3:30pm - Seminar Presentation (3:30pm to 5:00pm)

    Additional Comments:  Coercive labor (adult labor trafficking and child labor) is astonishingly prevalent worldwide. Poverty creates vulnerability to labor coercion, but quantitative evidence on how anti-poverty programs mitigate this vulnerability is scarce – particularly for adult labor trafficking. This paper provides new evidence on how conditional cash transfer programs, cornerstones of anti-poverty policy in lower-income countries, influence coercive labor risk, focusing on Brazil’s Bolsa Familia program. Using multiple regression discontinuity designs, we find evidence of limited effects on adult labor trafficking risk. By contrast, we also find that the program does substantially reduce child labor among the poor – but not among those classified as living in extreme poverty. Our results suggest that for adults, income gains alone may be insufficient to reduce labor trafficking risk -- and complementary action against criminal recruiters may be simultaneously required.