Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Chambers College of Business and Economics



Committee Chair

Subhayu Bandyopadhyay.


In the first essay of this dissertation, we analyze the role of education subsidies on child labor in a situation where parents choose the quantity of children to have as well as their educational attainment. We find that lump sum education subsidies may increase (decrease) the equilibrium level of education and child labor depending on whether parents attach more weight on education (quality) or on school enrollment. Marginal education subsidies, in general, have the exact opposite effect. Some authors have found that a rise in the cost of schooling decreases child labor in some countries while increasing it in others. We are able to explain why one may observe these seemingly contradictory effects of subsidies on child labor across countries.;In the second essay I look at the effect of trade liberalization on child labor in the context of both a small and a large country. We analyze the effect of trade liberalization on child labor and fertility with respect to a small country. We show that tariffs may increase (or decrease) child labor and fertility depending on the slope of the labor supply curve and the type of equilibrium (high or low fertility). For a large countfy, fertility and child labor may qualitatively and quantitatively alter the effect of tariffs on the terms of trade. We find that in some cases, a rise in the tariff may deteriorate the terms of trade (starting from a zero tariff and therefore an import subsidy may be optimal.;The third essay investigates whether preferential trading agreements are building blocs or stumbling blocs to multilateral trade. We use MFN and applied tariff data for 146 countries (including the European Union), from 1988--2002, and conclude that free trade areas (bilateral and multination) are stumbling blocs to trade. We also find that countries that sign more PTAs give lower tariff reductions than countries that don't. WTO members are also found to offer lower tariff reductions than non WTO members.