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The Effect of Parents' Employment on Children's Educational Attainment

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  • Ermisch, John

    ()
    (University of Oxford)

  • Francesconi, Marco

    ()
    (University of Essex)

Abstract

This paper presents the conditions under which a causal interpretation can be given to the association between childhood parental employment and subsequent education of children. In a model in which parental preferences are separable in own consumption and children’s well-being, estimation is complicated by endowment heterogeneity and by the fact that parents may compensate or reinforce children’s endowments relevant to educational attainment. A sibling difference estimation strategy is generally not sufficient to provide a consistent estimate of the parameter of interest. Identification rests on two stronger assumptions about the timing of parents’ knowledge of their children’s endowments and about the technology used to produce children’s human capital. We find a negative and significant effect on the child’s educational attainment of the extent of mother’s full-time employment when the child was aged 0-5. The effects of mother’s part-time employment and father’s employment are smaller and less well determined but again negative. In the context of our conditional demand function framework, these results suggest that a higher full family income increases the educational attainment of children, and given full family income, a higher mother’s or father’s wage reduces their children’s educational attainment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 215.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp215

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Keywords: endowment heterogeneity; sibling estimators; Intergenerational links; conditional demand functions;

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References

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  1. David M. Blau & David K. Guilkey & Barry M. Popkin, 1996. "Infant Health and the Labor Supply of Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 90-139.
  2. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1984. "Heterogeneity, Intrafamily Distribution and Child Health," Bulletins, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center 8429, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  3. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2000. "Child Development and Success or Failure in the Youth Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 247-288 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Barbara Wolfe & Robert Haveman & Donna Genther & Chong-Bum An, 1992. "The "Window Problem" in Studies of Children's Attainments: A Methodological Exploration," NBER Technical Working Papers 0125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Blundell, Richard & Walker, Ian, 1986. "A Life-Cycle Consistent Empirical Model of Family Labour Supply Using Cross-Section Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 539-58, August.
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  8. Strauss, John, 1990. "Households, Communities, and Preschool Children's Nutrition Outcomes: Evidence from Rural Cote d'Ivoire," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 231-61, January.
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  10. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1986. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S1-39, July.
  11. Michael, Robert T, 1973. "Education in Nonmarket Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 306-27, Part I, M.
  12. Currie, J. & Cole, N., 1992. "Welfare and Child Health: the Link Between AFDC Participation and Birth Weight," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics 92-9, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
  14. Francine D. Blau & Adam J. Grossberg, 1990. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 3536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1997. "Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins," NBER Working Papers 6106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Behrman, Jere R & Pollak, Robert A & Taubman, Paul, 1982. "Parental Preferences and Provision for Progeny," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 52-73, February.
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  18. Kathleen E Kiernan, 1997. "The Legacy of Parental Divorce: Social, economic and demographic experiences in adulthood," CASE Papers, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE case01, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  19. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2007. "Maternal Employment and Overweight Children: Does Timing Matter?," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK 07/180, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. Würtz, Astrid, 2007. "The Long-Term Effect on Children of Increasing the Length of Parents' Birth-Related Leave," Working Papers, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics 07-11, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  3. Chiara Pronzato, 2009. "Return to work after childbirth: does parental leave matter in Europe?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 341-360, December.
  4. Kitty Stewart, 2007. "Employment trajectories for mothers in low-skilled work: evidence from the British lone parent cohort," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 6215, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Laura Cavalli & Alessandro Bucciol & Paolo Pertile & Veronica Polin & Nicola Sartor & Alessandro Sommacal, 2012. "Modelling life-course decisions for the analysis of interpersonal and intrapersonal redistribution," Working Papers 25/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  6. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Maternal Employment and Adolescent Development," NBER Working Papers 10691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Amelie Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2004. "Occupational Choice across Generations," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 395, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Nattavudh Powdthavee & James Vernoit, 2012. "The Transferable Scars: A Longitudinal Evidence of Psychological Impact of Past Parental Unemployment on Adolescents in the United Kingdom," CEP Discussion Papers dp1165, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Andrea Ichino & Anna Sanz De Galdeano, 2004. "Reconciling Motherhood and Work: Evidence from Time Use Data in Three Countries," CSEF Working Papers, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy 114, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  10. Galindo-Rueda, Fernando & Vignoles, Anna, 2002. "Class Ridden or Meritocratic? An Economic Analysis of Recent Changes in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 677, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Raquel Bernal, 2004. "Employment and Child Care Decisions of Mothers and the Well-being of their Children," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 361, Econometric Society.
  12. Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco & Pevalin, David J., 2002. "Childhood parental behaviour and young people's outcomes," ISER Working Paper Series 2002-12, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  13. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan & Matthieu Verstraete, 2006. "Impact of Early Childhood Care and Education on Children's Preschool Cognitive Development: Canadian Results from a Large Quasi-experiment," Cahiers de recherche, CIRPEE 0636, CIRPEE.
  14. Kitty Stewart, 2007. "Employment trajectories for mothers in low-skilled work: Evidence from the British Lone Parent Cohort," CASE Papers, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE /122, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  15. Georgia Verropoulou & Heather Joshi, 2009. "Does mother’s employment conflict with child development? Multilevel analysis of British mothers born in 1958," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 665-692, July.

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