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To Work or Not to Work? Child Development and Maternal Labor Supply

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  • Paul Frijters
  • David W. Johnston
  • Manisha Shah
  • Michael A. Shields

Abstract

We estimate the effect of early child development on maternal labor force participation. Mothers of poorly developing children may remain at home to care for their children. Alternatively, mothers may enter the labor force to pay for additional educational and health resources. Which action dominates is the empirical question we answer in this paper. We control for the potential endogeneity of child development by using an instrumental variables approach, uniquely exploiting exogenous variation in child development associated with child handedness. We find that a one unit increase in poor child development decreases maternal labor force participation by approximately 10 percentage points. (JEL J13, J16, J22)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 97-110

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:3:p:97-110

Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.3.97
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Cited by:
  1. Kevin Denny & Wen Zhang, 2010. "In praise of ambidexterity: how a continuum of handedness predicts social adjustment," Working Papers, Geary Institute, University College Dublin 201019, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  2. Daniel Kuehnle, 2013. "The causal effect of family income on child health: A re-examination using an instrumental variables approach," Working Papers, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE) 133, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
  3. Martin Halla & Martina Zweimüller, 2014. "Parental Response to Early Human Capital Shocks: Evidence from the Chernobyl Accident," Economics working papers, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria 2014-02, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  4. Johnston, David W. & Nicholls, Michael E. R. & Shah, Manisha & Shields, Michael A., 2010. "Handedness, Health and Cognitive Development: Evidence from Children in the NLSY," IZA Discussion Papers 4774, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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