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Maternal employment and the health of low-income young children

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  • Gennetian, Lisa A.
  • Hill, Heather D.
  • London, Andrew S.
  • Lopoo, Leonard M.
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    Abstract

    This study examines whether maternal employment affects the health status of low-income, elementary-school-aged children using instrumental variables estimation and experimental data from a welfare-to-work program implemented in the early 1990s. Maternal report of child health status is predicted as a function of exogenous variation in maternal employment associated with random assignment to the experimental group. IV estimates show a modest adverse effect of maternal employment on children's health. Making use of data from another welfare-to-work program we propose that any adverse effect on child health may be tempered by increased family income and access to public health insurance coverage, findings with direct relevance to a number of current policy discussions. In a secondary analysis using fixed effects techniques on longitudinal survey data collected in 1998 and 2001, we find a comparable adverse effect of maternal employment on child health that supports the external validity of our primary result.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 353-363

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:29:y:2010:i:3:p:353-363

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

    Related research

    Keywords: Maternal employment Children's health Poverty Welfare;

    References

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    Cited by:
    1. Liu, Hong & Zhao, Zhong, 2011. "Parental Job Loss and Children’s Health: Ten Years after the Massive Layoff of the SOEs’ Workers in China," IZA Discussion Papers 5846, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Gennetian, Lisa A. & Castells, Nina & Morris, Pamela A., 2010. "Meeting the basic needs of children: Does income matter?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1138-1148, September.
    3. Morrill, Melinda Sandler, 2011. "The effects of maternal employment on the health of school-age children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 240-257, March.
    4. Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Reisch, Lucia A. & Ahrens, Wolfgang & Eiben, Gabriele & M. Fernandéz-Alvira, Juan & Hadjigeorgiou, Charalampos & De Henauw, Stefaan & Kovács, Eva & Lauria, Fab, 2013. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity – A European perspective," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 728-742.
    5. Danzer, Natalia & Lavy, Victor, 2013. "Parental Leave and Children's Schooling Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Large Parental Leave Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 7626, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Kamp Dush, Claire M. & Schmeer, Kammi K. & Taylor, Miles, 2013. "Chaos as a social determinant of child health: Reciprocal associations?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 69-76.

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