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Parental health and child behavior: evidence from parental health shocks

Author

Listed:
  • Andrea M. Mühlenweg

    (WifOR
    Leibniz University Hannover)

  • Franz G. Westermaier

    (Philipps-University Marburg
    Hertie School of Governance)

  • Brant Morefield

    (L&M Policy Research)

Abstract

This study examines the importance of parental health in the development of child behavior during early childhood. Our analysis is based on child psychometric measures from a longitudinal German dataset, which tracks mothers and their newborns up to age six. We identify major changes in parental health (shocks) and control for a variety of initial characteristics of the child including prenatal conditions. The results are robust to placebo regressions of health shocks that occur after the outcomes are measured. Our findings point to negative effects of maternal health shocks on children’s emotional symptoms, conduct problems and hyperactivity. We estimate that maternal health shocks worsen outcomes by as much as 0.9 standard deviations. In contrast, paternal health seems to be less relevant to children’s behavioral skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea M. Mühlenweg & Franz G. Westermaier & Brant Morefield, 2016. "Parental health and child behavior: evidence from parental health shocks," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 577-598, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:14:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9284-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-015-9284-y
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    Cited by:

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    2. Esteban García-Miralles & Miriam Gensowski, 2020. "Are Children's Socio-Emotional Skills Shaped by Parental Health Shocks?," CEBI working paper series 20-21, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    3. Kelly Chen & Lars Osberg & Shelley Phipps, 2019. "Unequal opportunities and public policy: The impact of parental disability benefits on child postsecondary attendance," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(4), pages 1401-1432, November.
    4. Huong Thu Le & Ha Trong Nguyen, 2017. "Parental health and children's cognitive and noncognitive development: New evidence from the longitudinal survey of Australian children," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(12), pages 1767-1788, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human capital; Health; Non-cognitive skills;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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