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Mothers' and Fathers' Labor Supply in Fragile Families: The Role of Child Health

  • Hope Corman
  • Nancy E. Reichman
  • Kelly Noonan
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    We estimate the effect of poor child health on the labor supply of mothers and fathers post welfare reform, using a national sample of mostly unwed parents and their children-a group at high risk of living in poverty. We account for the potential endogeneity of child health and find that having a young child in poor health reduces the mother's probability of working, the mother's hours of work, and the father's hours of work. These results suggest that children's health problems may diminish their parents' capacity to invest in their health.

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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9918.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2003
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published as Corman, Hope, Kelly Noonan and Nancy Reichman. "Mothers' Labor Supply in Fragile Families: The Role of Child Health." Eastern Economics Journal 31, 4(Fall 2005): 601-616.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9918
    Note: HE LS CH
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    1. Fox Folk & K., . "Single mothers in various living arrangements: Differences in economic and time resources," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1075-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    2. Grossman, Michael & Joyce, Theodore J, 1990. "Unobservables, Pregnancy Resolutions, and Birth Weight Production Functions in New York City," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 983-1007, October.
    3. Elizabeth T. Powers, 2001. "New Estimates of the Impact of Child Disability on Maternal Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 135-139, May.
    4. Deborah Roempke Graefe & Daniel Lichter, 1999. "Life course transitions of American children: Parental cohabitation, marriage, and single motherhood," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 36(2), pages 205-217, May.
    5. Alice Nakamura & Masao Nakamura, 1994. "Predicting Female Labor Supply: Effects of Children and Recent Work Experience," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 304-327.
    6. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2002. "Socioeconomic Status and Health: Why is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," NBER Working Papers 9098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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