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