The Relation between Maternal Work Hours and Cognitive Outcomes of Young School-Aged Children

48 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2013

See all articles by Annemarie Nelen

Annemarie Nelen

Maastricht University

Andries de Grip

Maastricht School of Business and Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Didier Fouarge

Maastricht University

Abstract

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.

Keywords: intergenerational human capital investments, (non)cognitive skills, maternal labor supply, home environment

JEL Classification: D10, J13, J22

Suggested Citation

Nelen, Annemarie and de Grip, Andries and Fouarge, Didier, The Relation between Maternal Work Hours and Cognitive Outcomes of Young School-Aged Children. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7310, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2250288

Annemarie Nelen (Contact Author)

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

Andries De Grip

Maastricht School of Business and Economics ( email )

P. O. Box 616
Maastricht, NL 6200 MD
Netherlands

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Didier Fouarge

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

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