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The effect of parents' employment on children's educational attainment

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  • Ermisch, John
  • Francesconi, Marco

Abstract

This paper presents the conditions under which a causal interpretation can be given to the association between childhood parental employment and subsequent education of children. In a model in which parental preferences are separable in own consumption and children's well-being, estimation is complicated by endowment heterogeneity and by the fact that parents may compensate or reinforce children's endowments relevant to education attainment. A sibling difference estimatation strategy is generally not sufficient to provide a consistent estimate of the parameter of interest. Identification rests on two stronger assumptions about the timing of parents' knowledge of their children's endowments and about the technology used to produce children's human capital. We find a negative and signifcant effect on the child's educational attainment of the extent of mother's full-time employment when the child was aged 0-5. The effects of mother's part-time employment and father's employment are smaller and less well determined but again negative. In the context of our conditional demand function framework, these results suggest that a higher full family income increases the educational attainment of children, and given full family income, a higher mother's or father's wages reduces their childen's educational attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco, 2000. "The effect of parents' employment on children's educational attainment," ISER Working Paper Series 2000-31, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2000-31
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Rasmussen, Astrid Würtz, 2010. "Increasing the length of parents' birth-related leave: The effect on children's long-term educational outcomes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 91-100, January.
    3. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2008. "Maternal employment and adolescent development," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 958-983, October.
    4. Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2008. "Maternal employment and overweight children: does timing matter?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 889-906.
    5. Würtz, Astrid, 2007. "The Long-Term Effect on Children of Increasing the Length of Parents' Birth-Related Leave," Working Papers 07-11, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    6. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Vernoit, James, 2012. "The transferable scars: a longitudinal evidence of psychological impact of past parental unemployment on adolescents in the United Kingdom," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51510, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Laura Cavalli & Alessandro Bucciol & Paolo Pertile & Veronica Polin & Nicola Sartor & Alessandro Sommacal, 2012. "Modelling life-course decisions for the analysis of interpersonal and intrapersonal redistribution," Working Papers 25/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    8. Constant, Amelie F. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2003. "Occupational Choice Across Generations," IZA Discussion Papers 975, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. 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.
    10. Galindo-Rueda, Fernando & Vignoles, Anna, 2002. "Class Ridden or Meritocratic? An Economic Analysis of Recent Changes in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 677, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Kitty Stewart, 2007. "Employment trajectories for mothers in low-skilled work: Evidence from the British Lone Parent Cohort," CASE Papers case122, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    12. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan & Matthieu Verstraete, 2006. "Impact of Early Childhood Care and Education on Children's Preschool Cognitive Development: Canadian Results from a Large Quasi-experiment," Cahiers de recherche 0636, CIRPEE.
    13. Raquel Bernal, 2004. "Employment and Child Care Decisions of Mothers and the Well-being of their Children," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 361, Econometric Society.
    14. Stewart, Kitty, 2007. "Employment trajectories for mothers in low-skilled work: evidence from the British lone parent cohort," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6215, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Andrea Ichino & Anna Sanz De Galdeano, 2004. "Reconciling Motherhood and Work: Evidence from Time Use Data in Three Countries," CSEF Working Papers 114, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    16. Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco & Pevalin, David J., 2002. "Childhood parental behaviour and young people's outcomes," ISER Working Paper Series 2002-12, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    17. Chiara Pronzato, 2009. "Return to work after childbirth: does parental leave matter in Europe?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 341-360, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • 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
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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