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The Effects of Aggregate and Gender-Specific Labor Demand Shocks on Child Health

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  • Marianne Page
  • Jessamyn Schaller
  • David Simon

Abstract

In this paper, we estimate the relationship between cyclical changes in aggregate labor market opportunities and child health outcomes. In addition to using state unemployment rates to proxy for labor market conditions, as is common in the existing literature, we construct predicted employment growth indices that allow us to separately identify demand-induced changes in labor market opportunities for fathers and mothers. In contrast with prominent studies of adult health, we find no evidence that negative shocks to general economic conditions are associated with improvements in contemporaneous measures of children’s health. We do find, however, that focusing on gender-inclusive economic variables obscures the extent to which the labor market affects children. Specifically, we find evidence that improvements in labor market conditions facing women are associated with worse child health, while improvements in men’s labor market conditions have smaller positive effects on child health. These patterns, which are consistent with previous findings on the effects of individual parental employment and job displacement, suggest that family income and maternal time use are both important mechanisms mediating the effects of aggregate labor market conditions on child health.

Suggested Citation

  • Marianne Page & Jessamyn Schaller & David Simon, 2016. "The Effects of Aggregate and Gender-Specific Labor Demand Shocks on Child Health," NBER Working Papers 22394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22394
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bubonya, Melisa & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Christensen, Daniel & Johnson, Sarah E. & Zubrick, Stephen R., 2018. "The Great Recession and Children's Mental Health in Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 11891, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Sandner, Malte & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2018. "The Effects of Universal Public Childcare Provision on Cases of Child Neglect and Abuse," IZA Discussion Papers 11687, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Daniel Graeber & Daniel D. Schnitzlein, 2019. "The Effect of Maternal Education on Offspring's Mental Health," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1028, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. Chad Cotti & David Simon, 2016. "The Impact of Stock Market Fluctuations on the Mental and Physical Wellbeing of Children," Working papers 2016-28, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    5. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Paul, Alexander & Reinhold, Steffen, 2018. "Econometric analysis of the effects of economic conditions on the health of newborns," Working Paper Series 2018:24, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    6. Bilal Nabeel Falah & Marcelo Bérgolo & Arwa Abu Hashhash & Mohammad Hattawy & Iman Saadeh, 2019. "The Effect of Labor-Demand Shocks on Women’s Participation in the Labor Force: Evidence from Palestine," Working Papers PMMA 2019-08, PEP-PMMA.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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