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ZEF - Experts


Dr. Sayan Chakrabarty

Contact E-Mail

Description of the previous tasks at ZEF

Previous Position at ZEF:
Junior Researcher

Previous ZEF department:

Previous research areas at ZEF:
- Renewable energy
- Growth, inequality and poverty
- Global development and trade

Previous research countries at ZEF:
- Bangladesh
- India
- Nepal

Donor of doctoral study:

Does 'Social Labeling' Displace Child Labour and Increase Child Schooling? : Evidence from Nepal

In recent years, strong concern about the social status of export commodities as well as questions of ethical trade in the globalization process have been raised throughout the importing countries.

As a result, the demand for establishing a ‘social clause’ in the World Trade Organization (WTO) or implementing trade sanctions has increased, especially with respect to combating child labor in the carpet and garment production.

However, resistance has been formed, especially by developing countries, against linking trade measures with social standards.

As an alternative, initiatives like ‘Social Labeling’ were initiated for maintaining international labor standards according to conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Social labeling means that a product which has been produced under certain social criteria is certified as socially acceptable.

The consumer has to pay a higher price for the labeled product which the producer is supposed to get. Social labeling programs are also increasingly combined with schooling to allow children having lost their jobs in the export sectors due to labeling to go to school.

In this study labeling programs in the carpet industry of Nepal and India (e.g. RUGMARK, Kaleen, STEP and Care & Fair) and in the leather and shrimp industries in Bangladesh will be discussed.
This study will focus on questions like
- do the labeling initiatives have a positive welfare effect on beneficiaries through the schooling program?
- what are the factors that influence the ‘opportunity cost of schooling’ of the children?
- does social labeling decrease opportunity cost of schooling through its rehabilitation activities and increase child schooling?

Using the case studies of Bangladesh, India and Nepal, findings of this study are expected to shed some light on the effects of social labeling programs in developing countries.

Major focus will be put on the impact on the welfare of children.

Thus, the results are also expected to have significant policy implications for the ILO, UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) and particularly to the WTO.

Country of origin Bangladesh
Profession Economist
Specialisation Child labor, labor standards, renewable energy, poverty, health.
Degrees Doctor in Economics, University of Giessen, Germany.

MSS (Economics), Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh

BSS (Economics), Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh
Awards USQ publication excellence award, Australia. 2014.

Vice chancellor's award in Social Science and Business for outstanding research performance, Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, Bangladesh.

University Grants Commission (UGC) award in Social Science (public and private universities), Bangladesh.

Award from the State Department, USA for presenting a paper at the Harvard University.

DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Scholarship; Carlo-Schmid Fellowship at United Nations (ILO), Geneva, Switzerland.
Other activities UN research project with ILO "Does Micro Credit Increase Bonded Child Labour in Absence of Micro Insurance?: The Case of Bangladesh in Presence of Climate Risk"

UN research project with FAO "Food Poverty and Consequent Vulnerability of Children: A Comparative Study of Ethnic Minorities and Monga-affected Households in Bangladesh"

International and National consultant for the World Bank ( Dhaka) and ILO (Dhaka and Geneva)
Professional experience Professor and Head (2012- ), Department of Economics, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology,Sylhet, Bangladesh.

Associate Professor of Economics (2008 - 2012), Shahjalal University of Science and Technology,Sylhet, Bangladesh.

Carlo Schmid Fellow (2006-2007), International Labor Organization (ILO), Geneva, Switzerland.

Research Fellow (2002-2006), Center for Development Research, University of Bonn, Germany.

Assistant Professor of Economics (1998-2002), Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh

Research Officer (1997-98), Study on Sick Industries Project, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Previous positions 2012 - 2013 Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh.
Current position Research Fellow
Current institute University of Southern Queensland
Website current institute http://
Since 2014
Country of current residence Australia

Chakrabarty S.. 2012. Does Micro Credit Increase Child Labour in Absence of Micro Insurance?. Microinsurance Innovation Facility Research Paper, 12:
Further Information:

Chakrabarty, S., Grote, U. and Lüchters G. 2011. Does social labelling encourage child schooling and discourage child labour in Nepal?. International Journal of Educational Development, 31 (5): 483-489.
Further Information:

Chakrabarty, S. and T. Islam. 2011. Financial viability and eco-efficiency of the solar home systems (SHS) in Bangladesh. Energy, Volume 36, Issue 8: 4821-4827.

Chakrabarty S. and U. Grote. 2009. Child Labor in Carpet Weaving: Impact of Social Labeling in India and Nepal. World Development, 37 (10): 1683-1693.

Chakrabarty, S. and Grote, U. 2007. Impact of Social Labeling on Child Labor in the Indian Carpet Industry. Leibniz Universität Hannover, Faculty of Economics and Management, Discussion Paper No. 366, ISSN: 0949-9962.
Further Information:

Chakrabarty, S., U. Grote and G. Lüchters. 2006. The Trade-Off Between Child Labor and Schooling: Influence of Social Labeling NGOs in Nepal. ZEF Discussion Paper No. 102.
Download [PDF | 244 KB]

Chakrabarty, S., Daniel, Friedland, Hanninen, Ihne, Schreinemachers and Kustov. 2006. Making Services Work for Poor People: From Knowledge to Practice. The panel and working group discussions in WBI and GTZ conference. Capacity Building International, Bonn.
Download [PDF | 434 KB]

Chakrabarty, S.. 2006. Does ‘Social Labeling’ Displace Child Labor and Increase Child Schooling? : Evidence from Nepal. International Labour Organization (ILO), Geneva.
Download [PDF | 351 KB]

Chakrabarty, S. 2006. Do Social Labeling NGOs have any Influence on Child Labor? Empirical Evidence from Nepal. In: Grote U., Basu A. and Chau N. (eds.): New Frontiers in Environmental and Social Labeling. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg,
Download [PDF | 12 KB]

Chakrabarty, S. 2005. Nutrition and Child Labor Supply in Nepal. Consumer and Market Demand Conference, Canadian Agricultural Policy Research Network, Banff, Canada.
Download [PDF | 12 KB]

Chakrabarty, S. 2004. Questionnaire for Field Research in India and Nepal.
Download [PDF | 417 KB]