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Dr. Ben Milner (PhD), an assistant professor of economics at the University of Alberta.

The Long-term effects of Child Labour Legislation: Evidence from the Britain’s 1860 Mining Act

The next Department of Economics Speaker Series Seminar will feature Ben Milner, assistant professor of economics from the University of Alberta


Date: Friday, Feb. 10
Time: 3-4:30 pm
Location: Arts 214

About this event

The next Economics Speaker Series Seminar will be featuring guest speaker Ben Milner, assistant professor of economics from the University of Alberta.

How effective are child labour laws at improving adult outcomes? Few modern studies have the necessary data to track long-run effects, while historical studies often struggle to demonstrate causality. Using full-count census records linked across decades and a triple-difference identification strategy, Milner finds that by decreasing the opportunity cost and increasing the returns to schooling, Britain's 1860 Mining Act led to increased human capital acquisition among the sons of coal miners. This in turn improved their likelihood of holding human capital-intensive occupations in adulthood.

Milner has conducted heterogeneity analysis to examine whether push or pull factors drive the effect. He shows that while push factors – such as local mine closures – have little impact on the size of the treatment effect, the long-run effects of the reform are strongest in areas with high levels of social mobility, suggesting that additional education enabled those treated to take advantage of local opportunities that otherwise would have passed them by. 

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