NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effect of Maternal Employment on Children's Academic Performance

Rachel Dunifon, Anne Toft Hansen, Sean Nicholson, Lisbeth Palmhøj Nielsen

NBER Working Paper No. 19364
Issued in August 2013
NBER Program(s):   ED   LS

Using a Danish data set that follows 135,000 Danish children from birth through 9th grade, we examine the effect of maternal employment during a child's first three and first 15 years on that child's grade point average in 9th grade. We address the endogeneity of employment by including a rich set of household control variables, instrumenting for employment with the gender- and education-specific local unemployment rate, and by including maternal fixed effects. We find that maternal employment has a positive effect on children's academic performance in all specifications, particularly when women work part-time. This is in contrast with the larger literature on maternal employment, much of which takes place in other contexts, and which finds no or a small negative effect of maternal employment on children's cognitive development and academic performance.

download in pdf format
   (377 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19364

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Chatterji, Markowitz, and Brooks-Gunn w17212 Early Maternal Employment and Family Wellbeing
Danzer and Lavy w19452 Parental Leave and Children's Schooling Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Large Parental Leave Reform
Kearney and Levine w19795 Media Influences on Social Outcomes: The Impact of MTV's 16 and Pregnant on Teen Childbearing
Ruhm w10691 Maternal Employment and Adolescent Development
Stephens and Yang w19369 Compulsory Education and the Benefits of Schooling
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us