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The Effects of Daycare Reconsidered

Listed author(s):
  • Karen Norberg

Do children of employed mothers differ from other children, even before mother's (re)entry to the labor force? Preexisting differences among children may be an alternative explanation for many apparent daycare outcome effects. Data from the 1994 wave of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth were available for 6603 singleton infants followed from birth. Mothers of children with intrauterine growth retardation, birth defects, or extended hospitalization at birth began working significantly later after the birth of the child, and mothers of infants with higher development scores and more difficult temperament, and mothers of healthy premature infants, began working significantly earlier. The associations with newborn health persisted when the comparisons were made among siblings. The magnitudes of the effects were large enough to have practical importance. After controlling for both observed and unobserved differences between families, a mother was only 50% as likely to have been employed at all in the first five years after the birth of a high risk infant. About 20% of low-income newborns in the sample were classified as problems may therefore have resulted in a 10% lower labor force participation rate among low-income mothers of children under five.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6769.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6769.

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Date of creation: Oct 1998
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6769
Note: CH
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  1. Hope Corman & Robert Kaestner, 1991. "The Effects of Child Health on Marital Status," NBER Working Papers 3850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Barbara L. Wolfe & Steven C. Hill, 1995. "The Effect of Health on the Work Effort of Single Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 42-62.
  3. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 143-162, August.
  4. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
  5. Sonalde Desai & P. L. Chase-Lansdale & Robert Michael, "undated". "Mother or Market? Effects of Maternal Employment on Cognitive Development of Four-year-old Children," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 88-11, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  6. Hanushek, Eric A, 1992. "The Trade-Off between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 84-117, February.
  7. David M. Blau & Alison P. Hagy, 1998. "The Demand for Quality in Child Care," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 104-146, February.
  8. Mark R. Rosenzweig & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1988. "Heterogeneity, Intrafamily Distribution, and Child Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 437-461.
  9. Blau, Francine D & Grossberg, Adam J, 1992. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 474-481, August.
  10. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 450-477, June.
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