NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Lisbeth Palmhøj Nielsen

Aarhus University
Nordre Ringgade
8000 Aarhus C
Denmark

E-Mail: lpn@sfi.dk

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2013The Effect of Maternal Employment on Children's Academic Performance
with Rachel Dunifon, Anne Toft Hansen, Sean Nicholson: w19364
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 empl...
 
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