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Nobody Home: The Effect of Maternal Labor Force Participation on Long-Term Child Outcomes

  • Venke Furre Haaland
  • Mari Rege
  • Mark Votruba

We investigate how mother’s employment during childhood affects long term child outcomes. We utilize rich longitudinal data from Norway covering the entire Norwegian population between the years 1970 to 2007. The data allows us to match all family members and to measure maternal labor force participation throughout the child’s entire childhood. Our empirical approach exploits the variation in exposure to a working mother that exists across older and younger siblings in different family types. We compare sibling differences in families where the mother enters the labor force when the children are older and where the mother remains employed full time thereafter, to sibling differences in families where the mother remains out of the labor force during the entirety of her children’s adolescent years. Our identification strategy is, therefore, in the spirit of traditional difference-in-differences, the first difference pertaining to the differences in children’s ages within a family and the second pertaining to different family types. The analysis suggests that maternal labor force participation has significant and negative effects on years of education and labor market outcomes. However, the effects are small, which supports the notion that maternal labor force participation has, on average, a small effect on long-term outcomes for children.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2013/wp-cesifo-2013-11/cesifo1_wp4495.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4495.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4495
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  1. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2006. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Evidence From Maternity Leave Expansions of the Impact of Maternal Care on Early Child Development," NBER Working Papers 13826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2009. "Money for Nothing? Universal Child Care and Maternal Employment," Memorandum 24/2009, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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  9. Susanne James-Burdumy, 2005. "The Effect of Maternal Labor Force Participation on Child Development," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 177-211, January.
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  11. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2011. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement: Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20113, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  12. Eric Bettinger & Torbjørn Haegeland & Mari Rege, 2013. "Home with Mom: The Effects of Stay-at-Home Parents on Children's Long-Run Educational Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 4274, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "Does Early Maternal Employment Harm Child Development? An Analysis of the Potential Benefits of Leave Taking," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 381-408, April.
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  15. Anderson, Patricia M. & Butcher, Kristin F. & Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Maternal employment and overweight children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-504, May.
  16. Mari Rege & Kjetil Telle & Mark Votruba, 2011. "Parental Job Loss and Children's School Performance," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1462-1489.
  17. Laura Veldkamp & Alessandra Fogli, 2009. "Nature or Nurture? Learning and the Geography of Female Labor Force Participation," 2009 Meeting Papers 141, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Maternal Employment and Adolescent Development," IZA Discussion Papers 1673, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. David Blau & Janet Currie, 2004. "Preschool, Day Care, and Afterschool Care: Who's Minding the Kids?," NBER Working Papers 10670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Datcher-Loury, Linda, 1988. "Effects of Mother's Home Time on Children's Schooling," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 367-73, August.
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