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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.

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gennetian, Lisa A. & Hill, Heather D. & London, Andrew S. & Lopoo, Leonard M., 2010. "Maternal employment and the health of low-income young children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 353-363, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:29:y:2010:i:3:p:353-363
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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Hong & Zhao, Zhong, 2014. "Parental job loss and children's health: Ten years after the massive layoff of the SOEs' workers in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 303-319.
    2. 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.
    3. Cho, Sungju & Lee, Sanghyeon, 2016. "Multilevel Analysis On Mother’S Nutrition Label Use And Children’S Propensity For Being Overweight," Journal of Rural Development/Nongchon-Gyeongje, Korea Rural Economic Institute, vol. 0(Special I), pages 1-24, December.
    4. Natalia Danzer & Victor Lavy, 2013. "Parental Leave and Children's Schooling Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Large Parental Leave Reform," CESifo Working Paper Series 4488, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Averett, Susan L. & Wang, Yang, 2015. "The Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Children's Health, Quality of Home Environment, and Non-Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 9173, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Reisch, Lucia A. & Ahrens, Wolfgang & Eiben, Gabriele & M. Fernandéz-Alvira, Juan & Hadjigeorgiou, Charalampos & De Henauw, Stefaan & Kovács, Eva & Lauria, Fabio, 2013. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity – A European perspective," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 728-742.
    7. Jessamyn Schaller & Mariana Zerpa, 2015. "Short-run Effects of Parental Job Loss on Child Health," NBER Working Papers 21745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Haeil Jung & Chaeyoung Chang, 2016. "Is Mothers’ Work Related to Childhood Weight Changes in the United States?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 581-593, December.
    9. repec:wly:econjl:v:128:y:2018:i:608:p:81-117 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. repec:kap:jfamec:v:39:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10834-017-9552-5 is not listed on IDEAS

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