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Parental Sleep and Employment: Evidence from a British Cohort Study

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  • Joan Costa-Font
  • Sarah Flèche

Abstract

We show that sleep deprivation exerts a strong negative effect on labour market performance. We exploit variations in child sleep quality to instrument for parental sleep quality. A one-hour reduction in sleep duration significantly decreases labour force participation, the number of hours worked and household income. In addition, we find that low-skilled mothers are more likely to opt out of the labour market and work less hours than high-skilled mothers when exposed to sleep deprivation. We argue that sleep is a major determinant of employment outcomes that needs more attention in designing economic models of time allocation and employment policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Joan Costa-Font & Sarah Flèche, 2017. "Parental Sleep and Employment: Evidence from a British Cohort Study," CEP Discussion Papers dp1467, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1467
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lisa A. Kramer & Mark J. Kamstra & Maurice D. Levi, 2000. "Losing Sleep at the Market: The Daylight Saving Anomaly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1005-1011, September.
    2. Gibson, Matthew & Shrader, Jeffrey, 2014. "Time Use and Productivity: The Wage Returns to Sleep," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt8zp518hc, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    3. Pierre Brochu & Catherine Armstrong & Louis-Philippe Morin, 2012. "The ‘trendiness’ of sleep: an empirical investigation into the cyclical nature of sleep time," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 891-913, October.
    4. Szalontai, Gabor, 2006. "The demand for sleep: A South African study," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 854-874, September.
    5. Jens Bonke, 2012. "Do Morning-Type People Earn More than Evening-Type People? How Chronotypes Influence Income," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 105-106, pages 55-72.
    6. Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1990. "Sleep and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 922-943, October.
    7. Antillón, Marina & Lauderdale, Diane S. & Mullahy, John, 2014. "Sleep behavior and unemployment conditions," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 22-32.
    8. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, January.
    9. repec:adr:anecst:y:2012:i:105-106:p:4 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Arber, Sara & Bote, Marcos & Meadows, Robert, 2009. "Gender and socio-economic patterning of self-reported sleep problems in Britain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 281-289, January.
    11. repec:adr:anecst:y:2012:i:105-106 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jeremy Clark & David L. Dickinson, 2017. "The Impact of Sleep Restriction on Contributions and Punishment: First Evidence," Working Papers 17-04, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    child sleep; sleep; maternal employment; working hours; job satisfaction; ALSPAC;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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