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Gyung Jeong
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I decided to write a comment after the class since this paper was written by Prof. Casey and I wanted to learn more before I wrote a comment. As the professor mentioned today in class, most farmers are utility maximizers, rather than profit maximizers. Since their farming depends on utility, they might not be happy with someone else telling them what to do with their farms or their techniques. That’s why the professor said we should suggest it to them instead of just telling them what to do. It is also possible that, as the results of this research show, these farmers are already the experts at farming in their towns/areas so that they already make high returns from farming which could lead to their reluctance in changing their ways. On the other hand, not all farmers felt this way. In fact, most farmers did change to the agroforestry technique in hopes of higher income and output. Unfortunately, the average income for the farmers who actually adopted the new technique was lower than those of the farmers who did not. However, there may be other factors that contributed to this result. For instance, total of 175 data points might not be enough to determine the effect of changing to agroforestry. Or another thing to consider is that the weather could have been different in each town or farm. Despite my speculations, we see that the results of the regression are about 82% correct/accurate. This means although there might be other possibilities of uncertainties, the results are highly accurate. This reminds me of the time when I did a research project for my econometrics class, The Effect of Early Childhood Education on Future Academic Success, we had problems with such a small amount of data.
Toggle Commented Nov 15, 2013 on ECON 280 Paper for Thursday at Jolly Green General
As Udry highlights in the introduction, the purpose of this paper is to understand the circumstances that lead poor parents to send their children to work instead of helping them to invest in their children’s human capital. There is always a tradeoff between immediate income/benefits and children’s future. As Udry says, “Child labor involves the sacrifice of a child’s future welfare in exchange for a current benefit to the household.” However, we have to think about how this cost-benefit analysis works. The benefits will be the take home wage of the children and the reduced expenditures on education whereas the cost of child labor involves lower future wages when they grow up and the productivity (human capital) associated with the knowledge of education. Also, from previous papers, we learned that children tend to be less healthier under poorly educated parents. Which one is greater? Maybe its about short run vs. long run benefits. Whatever the answer is, it supports Udry’s argument that child labor is high among poor families in developing countries. He then talks about the mutual relationship between poverty and child labor. This relationship, or a cycle, is that because parents are poor, their children have to work, which means they do not have time for school. Eventually this leads to the lack of investment in human capital and leads them to become poor and this keeps on happening with their future generations. He suggests that if this cycle can be broken somehow, then it can help children to be better educated and alleviate poverty. As Daniel pointed out above, Udry suggests that access of credit can help break this cycle. Udry also points out that child labor can be effectively reduced by subsidizing for school enrollment.
Toggle Commented Nov 7, 2013 on Corel Office Document at Jolly Green General
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Nov 6, 2013