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agrarian economy with overlapping generations

Annotation: Based on empirical data and econometric analyses of rural India, it is determined in this piece that agrarian bonded labor may intensify with the growth of capitalist agricultural development. Technological advances in agriculture and the tightening of labor markets may increase voluntary labor-tying contracts. However, the mechanization of some agricultural processes, and the introduction of seasonal migrant labor, may help reduce employers’ dependence on bonded labor. Data collection problems may weaken the empirical evidence of this study, such as a failure to recognize those who have entered into implicit contracts with employers as bonded laborers, as well as a failure to recognize semi-attached (short-term) laborers as bonded laborers. The article provides an alternative analysis to existing development literature—in which supply and demand models fail to address significant segements of the labor force—and challenges economists’ treatment of bonded labor as a signal of economic stagnation. Basu, Arnab K., and Nancy H. Chau. 2004. “Exploitation of Child Labor and the Dynamics of Debt Bondage.” Journal of Economic Growth 9(2): 209-38. Annotation: In the context of an engaged in debt bondage and child labor, the author examines the principal-agent interaction between landlords and tenants. Studies identify reasons why households put children to work to service outstanding debts, only to realize later that the children’s work has been exploited, and that the household has been made worse off as a result. Debt bondage is often inherited by subsequent generations, thereby contributing to the cycle of debt, bonded child labor, and poverty. Basic labor rights, such as freedom of association and the right to organize, complement efforts to eradicate forced labor. However, the use of standard disincentives to eliminate bonded child labor such as trade sanctions on countries that condone it, ultimately generate negative impacts on agrarian households.