I took statistics class years ago in my college and I don't remember much of it now. I am into public policy research now and I am bit confused about about what conclusion to make from available evidence.
Poverty is the 'root cause' of child labour is what is claimed by International Labour organization (ILO) and thus by lot of other countries. Evidence often cited for this is: most of the child labourers are from poor backgrounds in most of the countries where child labour is prevalent. So there is a correlation and for causality, if we think about it, no money => to earn money => all healthy individuals must work including children => child labourers.
Now I've read few research studies which claim that
Poverty is not the root cause of child labour and the evidence they cite is,
- There are poor countries where there is hardly any child labourers.
- There are children studying in schools who are lot more impoverished than those who are working.
- There doesn't exist a poverty line below which a parent is compelled to send their child to school.
So people on this end say, if poverty is the root cause then could we explain this. But this argument could be reversed too. Either way, I'm confused.
How should I go about interpreting and understanding this?
What data is required, and what analysis has to be carried out to settle the question, whether poverty is the cause or not? In other words, I want to set my hypothesis to be "Poverty is not the root cause of child labour", what should I do to either prove or disprove it?
I want to see this to the end. So feel free suggest some readings if you need to.