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

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  • Martin Dooley
  • Ellen Lipman
  • Jennifer Stewart

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Dooley & Ellen Lipman & Jennifer Stewart, 2005. "Exploring the Good Mother Hypothesis: Do Child Outcomes Vary with the Mother's Share of Income?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 31(2), pages 123-144, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:31:y:2005:i:2:p:123-144
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Frances Woolley, 2004. "Why Pay Child Benefits to Mothers?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 30(1), pages 47-69, March.
    3. Anne Winkler, 1997. "Economic decision-making by cohabitors: findings regarding income pooling," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(8), pages 1079-1090.
    4. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
    5. Bruce Bradbury, 2004. "Consumption and the Within-household Income Distribution: Outcomes from an Australian "Natural Experiment"," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 50(3), pages 501-540.
    6. T. Paul Schultz, 1990. "Testing the Neoclassical Model of Family Labor Supply and Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 599-634.
    7. Phipps, Shelley A & Burton, Peter S, 1998. "What's Mine Is Yours? The Influence of Male and Female Incomes on Patterns of Household Expenditure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(260), pages 599-613, November.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Dooley & Jennifer Stewart, 2007. "Family income, parenting styles and child behavioural-emotional outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 145-162.
    2. Lynda G. Gagné & Ana Ferrer, 2006. "Housing, Neighbourhoods and Development Outcomes of Children in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 32(3), pages 275-300, September.
    3. Frances Woolley, 2004. "Why Pay Child Benefits to Mothers?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 30(1), pages 47-69, March.
    4. Claire de Oliveira, 2009. "Good Health to All: Reducing Health Inequalities among Children in High- and Low-Income Canadian Families," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 288, May.

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