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The Relation between Maternal Work Hours and Cognitive Outcomes of Young School-Aged Children

Author

Listed:
  • Künn-Nelen, Annemarie

    () (ROA, Maastricht University)

  • de Grip, Andries

    () (ROA, Maastricht University)

  • Fouarge, Didier

    () (ROA, Maastricht University)

Abstract

This paper is the first that analyzes the relation between maternal work hours and the cognitive outcomes of young school-going children. When children attend school, the potential time working mothers miss out with their children, is smaller than when children do not yet attend school. At the same time, working might benefit children through, for example, greater family income. Our study is highly relevant for public policy as in most countries maternal employment rates rise when children enter school. We find no negative relation between maternal working hours and child outcomes as is often found for pre-school aged children. Instead, we find that children's sorting test score is higher when their mothers work part-time (girls) or full-time (boys). Furthermore, we find that planned parent-child activities are positively related to children's language test scores. Nevertheless, we do not find that a richer home environment in terms of the number of parent-child activities provided to the child explain the relation between maternal work hours and children's test scores.

Suggested Citation

  • Künn-Nelen, Annemarie & de Grip, Andries & Fouarge, Didier, 2013. "The Relation between Maternal Work Hours and Cognitive Outcomes of Young School-Aged Children," IZA Discussion Papers 7310, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7310
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Liana Fox & Wen-Jui Han & Christopher Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2013. "Time for Children: Trends in the Employment Patterns of Parents, 1967–2009," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(1), pages 25-49, February.
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    3. Pedro Carneiro & Costas Meghir & Matthias Parey, 2013. "Maternal Education, Home Environments, And The Development Of Children And Adolescents," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 123-160, January.
    4. Nicole Bosch & Anja Deelen & Rob Euwals, 2010. "Is Part-time Employment Here to Stay? Working Hours of Dutch Women over Successive Generations," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(1), pages 35-54, March.
    5. Sabino Kornrich & Frank Furstenberg, 2013. "Investing in Children: Changes in Parental Spending on Children, 1972–2007," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(1), pages 1-23, February.
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    11. O'Brien, Margaret & Jones, Deborah, 1999. "Children, Parental Employment and Educational Attainment: An English Case Study," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(5), pages 599-621, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    intergenerational human capital investments; maternal labor supply; (non)cognitive skills; home environment;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • 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

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