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Parental Unemployment and Child Health in China

Author

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  • Pieters, Janneke

    () (Wageningen University)

  • Rawlings, Samantha

    () (University of Reading)

Abstract

This paper studies the causal effect of maternal and paternal unemployment on child health in China, analyzing panel data for the period 1997-2004, when the country underwent economic reforms leading to massive layoffs. We find that paternal unemployment reduces child health, while maternal unemployment has beneficial child health impacts. Analysis of channels shows that paternal and maternal unemployment have different effects on income, time use, mothers' blood pressure, and certain health investments, including children's diets. Our results support the notion that traditional gender roles can explain why mothers and fathers' unemployment affect child health so differently.

Suggested Citation

  • Pieters, Janneke & Rawlings, Samantha, 2016. "Parental Unemployment and Child Health in China," IZA Discussion Papers 10021, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Liu, Hong & Zhao, Zhong, 2014. "Parental job loss and children's health: Ten years after the massive layoff of the SOEs' workers in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 303-319.
    2. Giles, John & Satriawan, Elan, 2015. "Protecting child nutritional status in the aftermath of a financial crisis: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 97-106.
    3. Eva Mörk & Anna Sjögren & Helena Svaleryd, 2014. "Parental Unemployment and Child Health," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 60(2), pages 366-401.
    4. Patrick Ward, 2014. "Measuring the Level and Inequality of Wealth: An Application to China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(4), pages 613-635, December.
    5. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Bowles, Paul, 2002. "Segmentation and discrimination in China's emerging industrial labor market," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 170-196.
    6. Silvia Helena Barcellos & Leandro S. Carvalho & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2014. "Child Gender and Parental Investments in India: Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, pages 157-189.
    7. 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.
    8. Baker, Michael & Milligan, Kevin, 2008. "Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 871-887, July.
    9. Silvia Helena Barcellos & Leandro S. Carvalho & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2014. "Child Gender and Parental Investments in India: Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 157-189, January.
    10. Jessamyn Schaller & Mariana Zerpa, 2019. "Short-Run Effects of Parental Job Loss on Child Health," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 8-41, Winter.
    11. Angelini, Viola & Mierau, Jochen O., 2014. "Born at the right time? Childhood health and the business cycle," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 35-43.
    12. Paul Glewwe, 1999. "Why Does Mother's Schooling Raise Child Health in Developing Countries? Evidence from Morocco," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 124-159.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    child health; unemployment; nutrition; China;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J69 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Other
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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