Child labor is defined as a task which had took out the childhood from children; have an ability to affect negatively on child physical and mental development. These tasks also obstruct child schooling by disposing child from the chance of learning at school or force them to leave school early. In a worst form, child labor contains child who serve as slaves, has been splitting with their parents, high opportunity to get serious illness and have to protect themselves on the street (International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). ILO (2013) also estimated about one – third of the child labors in Vietnam, or around 569,000 children have to work around 42 hours per week in 2012 and this will have a bad influence on child schooling or children have to stop completely schooling time for work. This paper uses a panel data built up from VHLSS 2012 with descriptive statistics of parents and children characteristics to determine whether parent’s absence is a main reason for child labor. We apply Probit and OLS regression, as well as Heckman selection model, to examine the impacts of parents’ characteristics on the probability of child working and working hours. The main finding of this study emphasize that parent’s absence is not a key factor lead to child labor. It is economic factors and poverty that play an important role in leading child labor status and child working hours.
University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City; VNP (Vietnam – The Netherlands Programme for M.A. in Development Economics)