IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bri/cmpowp/03-070.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Effects of Early Maternal Employment on Child Development in the UK

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Gregg
  • Elizabeth Washbrook

    ()

Abstract

This paper uses data from the ALSPAC cohort of 12000 births to explore the effects of early maternal employment on child cognitive and behavioural outcomes. The results indicate that full time maternal employment begun in the 18 months after childbirth has small negative effects on later child outcomes. Part-time work and work begun later than 18 months, however, do not seem to have any adverse consequences. We explore the issue of whether our results are biased by unobserved heterogeneity but find no evidence that our results are sensitive to the inclusion of controls for a wide range of background factors. We conduct sub-group analyses to investigate whether certain groups may be more vulnerable to the effects of early full time maternal employment than others. This paper also explores the mechanisms linking maternal employment to children's development. The mechanisms examined relate to the parenting behaviours of the mother and father, breastfeeding behaviour, maternal tiredness and stress, household income and the use of non-maternal childcare. We find that a number of factors work to minimise the effect of mothers' labour market participation on their children. Fathers are significantly more involved in child rearing in households where mothers return to work early and this more equal division of parenting has strongly beneficial effects on later child outcomes. Negative employment effects are concentrated in those families where mothers work full time and also rely on unpaid care by a friend or relative. The use of paid childcare protects children from these negative effects and attendance at a centre-based provider may actually lead to better cognitive outcomes than if the child were at home with a non-working mother.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Gregg & Elizabeth Washbrook, 2003. "The Effects of Early Maternal Employment on Child Development in the UK," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/070, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:03/070
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp70.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Should lone parents work?
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-02-23 20:09:23

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & John A. Rigg, 2004. "The Impact of Low Income on Child Health: Evidence from a Birth Cohort Study," CASE Papers 085, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    2. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2008. "Child Support and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Studies in Economics 0811, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    3. Buchanan, A., 2006. "Children aged 0-13 at risk of social exclusion: Impact of government policy in England and Wales," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 1135-1151, October.
    4. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2007. "Do Dads matter? Or is it just their money that matters? Unpicking the effects of separation on educational outcomes by and," Working Papers 200722, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    5. Tatiana Karabchuk, 2016. "The subjective well-being of women in Europe: children, work and employment protection legislation," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 15(2), pages 219-245, November.
    6. Carol Propper & John Rigg & Simon Burgess, 2007. "Child health: evidence on the roles of family income and maternal mental health from a UK birth cohort," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(11), pages 1245-1269.
    7. Georgia Verropoulou & Heather Joshi, 2009. "Does mother’s employment conflict with child development? Multilevel analysis of British mothers born in 1958," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(3), pages 665-692, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    maternal employment; child development;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:03/070. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cmbriuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.