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Early Maternal Employment and Non-cognitive Outcomes in Early Childhood and Adolescence: Evidence from British Birth Cohort Data

Listed author(s):
  • Lekfuangfu, Warn N.
  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh
  • Clark, Andrew E.
  • Ward, George

We analyse the relationship between early maternal employment and child emotional and behavioural outcomes in early childhood and adolescence. Using rich data from a cohort of children born in the UK in the early 1990s, we find little evidence of a strong statistical relationship between early maternal employment and any of the emotional outcomes. However, there is some evidence that children whose mother is in full-time employment at the 18th month have worse behavioural outcomes at ages 4, 7, and 12. We suggest that these largely insignificant results may in part be explained by mothers who return to full-time work earlier being able to compensate their children: we highlight the role of fathers’ time investment and alternative childcare arrangements in this respect.

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File URL: http://www.cepremap.fr/depot/docweb/docweb1601.pdf
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Paper provided by CEPREMAP in its series CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) with number 1601.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2016
Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:1601
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  1. Pedro Carneiro & Katrine V. Løken & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2015. "A Flying Start? Maternity Leave Benefits and Long-Run Outcomes of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(2), pages 365-412.
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  10. Christian Dustmann & Uta Schönberg, 2012. "Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage and Children's Long-Term Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 190-224, July.
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  21. Rachel Dunifon & Anne Toft Hansen & Sean Nicholson & Lisbeth Palmhøj Nielsen, 2013. "The Effect of Maternal Employment on Children's Academic Performance," NBER Working Papers 19364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
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