Exploring trends in the relationship between child labour, gender and educational achievement in Latin America

Abigail Middel, Kalyan Kumar Kameshwara, Andrés Sandoval-Hernández

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Participation in child labour, in both household and non-household activities, gender effects and low educational attainment remain challenges for countries in Latin America. Through hierarchical linear modelling of data from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), this study seeks to explore the current cross-country trends in the relationship between educational attainment, child labour and gender. While non-household labour is found to have an effect, as per statistical significance and the magnitude, on educational achievement across all Latin American countries; participation in household labour is significant in only two countries (Peru and Uruguay). Girls are found to underperform compared to boys by a significant margin across Latin America. The later part of the study seeks to examine the interaction effects of gender and participation in labour activities. Results show that gender has no moderating effect, suggesting that the participation in work itself or workspace (household or non-household) does not influence or contribute to gender inequality in education outcomes. The explanatory factors for gender inequality in education outcomes is potentially rooted in a different sphere of influence which needs to be deciphered through deeper empirical investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-108
Number of pages24
JournalRevista Iberoamericana de Educación
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2020


  • Child labour
  • gender inequality
  • inequality
  • Educational achievement
  • latin america


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