Journal of
Development and Agricultural Economics

  • Abbreviation: J. Dev. Agric. Econ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9774
  • DOI: 10.5897/JDAE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 496

Full Length Research Paper

Child labour and wealth in rural Cambodia: Re-examination of alternative hypotheses

Fukui Seiichi
  • Fukui Seiichi
  • Department of Natural Resource Economics, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa, Oiwake-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan
  • Google Scholar
Miwa Kana
  • Miwa Kana
  • Faculty of Economics, Kushiro Public University of Economics, 4-1-1, Ashino, Kushiro, Hokkaido 085-8585, Japan
  • Google Scholar
Han Phoumin
  • Han Phoumin
  • Greater Mekong Commission Secretariat, P. O. Box 6101, Unit 18 Ban Sithane Neua, Sikhottabong District, Vientiane 01000, Lao PDR
  • Google Scholar

  •  Accepted: 16 September 2011
  •  Published: 28 February 2013



This study investigated whether the child labour prevailing in the rice-growing areas of Cambodia where wealth is measure in terms of cattle, can be explain by the poverty hypothesis and wealth paradox. In order to test if these hypotheses hold in all contexts, this study presented some evidences from rural Cambodia and used a Tobit model to investigate the impact of assets such as land and cattle on child labour. While field evidence showed no significant relationship between child labour and farmland size or income, this study found an inverse U-shaped relationship between the number of cattle owned by farmers and child labour hours. These findings suggest that the poverty hypothesis and the wealth paradox do not support the evidence on child labour supply in rural Cambodia.


Key words: Child labour, poverty hypothesis, wealth paradox, inverse U-shaped relationship, Cambodia.