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Maternal employment and the health of low-income young children

  • Gennetian, Lisa A.
  • Hill, Heather D.
  • London, Andrew S.
  • Lopoo, Leonard M.
Registered author(s):

    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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    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
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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