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Children’s Health and Maternal Work Activity: Estimates under Alternative Disability Definitions

  • Elizabeth T. Powers

Past empirical findings indicate that children’s health problems reduce married mothers’ employment but are inconclusive in the case of female heads. These studies use diverse disability definitions, samples, and specifications. This paper uses pooled SIPP panels to investigate the impact of alternative disability measures on maternal market work. Negative effects of several disability definitions on female heads’ and wives’ employment and hours at a point in time are found. In contrast, while female heads’ growth in work hours over time and probabilities of entering employment appear adversely affected by child disability, there is no evidence for analogous effects on wives.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 38 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 ()

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:38:y:2003:i:3:p522-556
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  1. Rebecca M. Blank, 1989. "The Effect of Medical Need and Medicaid on AFDC Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(1), pages 54-87.
  2. Elizabeth T. Powers, 2001. "New Estimates of the Impact of Child Disability on Maternal Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 135-139, May.
  3. Brent Kreider, 1999. "Latent Work Disability and Reporting Bias," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 734-769.
  4. Jean Kimmel, 1997. "Reducing the Welfare Dependence of Unmarried Mothers: Health-Related Employment Barriers and Policy Responses," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 151-163, Spring.
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