Child labour measurement: Whom should we ask?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Funding decisions to support vulnerable children are tied to child labour statistics, hence the importance of an accurate measurement. The author analyses whether the type of respondent plays an important role in explaining variations in child labour statistics. Using data from two sites in Tanzania, the analysis shows that “whom we ask” matters considerably when estimating the prevalence of child labour. The results suggest that prevalence increases by approximately 35 to 65 per cent when using child self-reports rather than proxy reports. This bias affects 14 to 31 per cent of the sample, depending on the indicator. Discrepancies decrease as the child ages and increase if proxy attitudes demonstrate opposition to child labour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-191
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Labour Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • case study
  • child labour
  • data collecting
  • statistical source
  • Tanzania

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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