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The relation between maternal work hours and cognitive outcomes of young school-aged children

  • Grip A. de
  • Fouarge D.
  • Künn-Nelen A.C.

    (GSBE)

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.

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File URL: http://pub.maastrichtuniversity.nl/d67596cb-5fa4-4767-a4c0-e3bc7fe3d66f
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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE) in its series Research Memorandum with number 019.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umagsb:2013019
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  1. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2007. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School, and Racial Test Score Gaps," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-136.
  2. Carneiro, Pedro & Meghir, Costas & Parey, Matthias, 2007. "Maternal Education, Home Environments and the Development of Children and Adolescents," CEPR Discussion Papers 6505, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. John Cawley & Feng Liu, 2007. "Mechanisms for the Association Between Maternal Employment and Child Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 13609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Zajonc, Tristan, 2009. "Do value-added estimates add value ? accounting for learning dynamics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5066, The World Bank.
  5. Fox, Liana & Han, Wen-Jui & Ruhm, Christopher J. & Waldfogel, Jane, 2011. "Time for Children: Trends in the Employment Patterns of Parents, 1967-2009," IZA Discussion Papers 5761, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Sabino Kornrich & Frank Furstenberg, 2013. "Investing in Children: Changes in Parental Spending on Children, 1972–2007," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 1-23, February.
  7. Suzanne Bianchi, 2000. "Maternal employment and time with children: Dramatic change or surprising continuity?," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 401-414, November.
  8. 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, 03.
  9. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  10. Alison Aughinbaugh & Maury Gittleman, 2003. "Does Money Matter?: A Comparison of the Effect of Income on Child Development in the United States and Great Britain," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(2).
  11. Narayan Sastry & Anne Pebley, 2010. "Family and neighborhood sources of socioeconomic inequality in children’s achievement," Demography, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 777-800, August.
  12. Eva M. Berger, 2013. "Happy Working Mothers? Investigating the Effect of Maternal Employment on Life Satisfaction," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(317), pages 23-43, 01.
  13. Sonalde Desai & P. Chase-Lansdale & Robert Michael, 1989. "Mother or Market? Effects of Maternal Employment on the Intellectual Ability of 4-Year-Old Children," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 545-561, November.
  14. Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "Does Early Maternal Employment Harm Child Development? An Analysis of the Potential Benefits of Leave Taking," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 381-408, April.
  15. 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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