In the developing country where I live, it is common to have household help. A friend asked me to hire a 14-year-old whose impoverished family badly needs the money. If I don’t, this child will find someone who will. In my house, her work would be age-appropriate — rinsing dishes, making beds and dusting; what we call “top work” — and she would receive nutritious meals, kind treatment and not be endangered. Or is it more ethical to forswear child labor while knowing that her need will drive her to a job that could be much more exploitative than the one in my house? Amita Chauhan, Mumbai, India
You are an economist. What would you advise Ms. Chauhan to do? Base your answer on your understandings of the institutions of capitalism and its impacts on absolute poverty.
How does this story challenge or confirm the research that you have done and the conclusions that you have reached about Capitalism?