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Exploring the Good Mother Hypothesis: Do Child Outcomes Vary with the Mother's Share of Income?

  • Martin Dooley
  • Ellen Lipman
  • Jennifer Stewart

We explore the relationship between child outcomes and the source of family income using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. The good mother hypothesis asserts that consumption of child-specific goods and child well-being may be superior in families in which mothers have greater control over economic resources. The least squares and logit estimates do not indicate that child activities and cognitive and behavioural/emotional outcomes are associated with the mother's share of income, but the fixed effects models provide some evidence of modest effects.

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Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 31 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 123-144

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:31:y:2005:i:2:p:123-144
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  1. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  2. Martin Dooley & Jennifer Stewart, 2004. "Family income and child outcomes in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 898-917, November.
  3. Phipps, S.A. & Burton, P.S., 1992. "What's Mine is Yours?: The Influence of Male and Female Incomes on Patterns of Household Expenditure," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 92-12, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  4. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 261-276, May.
  5. Anne Winkler, 1997. "Economic decision-making by cohabitors: findings regarding income pooling," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(8), pages 1079-1090.
  6. Schultz, T.P., 1990. "Testing The Neoclassical Model Of Family Labor Supply And Fertility," Papers 601, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  7. Frances Woolley, 2004. "Why Pay Child Benefits to Mothers?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 30(1), pages 47-69, March.
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