Revisiting the Link between Maternal Employment and School-Aged Children Health Status in Developing Countries: An Instrumental Variable Approach
This study analyses the link between maternal employment and the health status of the child. Using data from Indonesia, it uses mothers' risk averse measures, households' recent flood and drought experience, and the interactions between risk measures and experience of recent natural disasters to explain endogenous maternal employment as proxied by mothers' working hours. Critical values based on Stock and Yogo (2002) suggest that these are strong instruments. Moreover, the Hausman test suggests that the Instrumental Variable method is preferred to the Ordinary Least Squares method. However, estimates across differing specifications consistently suggest insignificant effects of maternal employment on children's health status. However, a mother's education and her health knowledge are important for child's well-being. In contrast, school's lunch programs, sanitation, sports and health facilities are not significantly associated with child's well-being. The results emphasise the roles of family compared to schools, in particular the roles of mothers in improving their children's well-being. In addition, there still seems to be inequality in the well-being of children between in urban and rural areas. Finally, this study finds no significant evidence of the link between hiring a domestic assistant, outside food consumption and a child's well-being.
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