Mothers Working during Preschool Years and Child Skills: Does Income Compensate?

60 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2020

See all articles by Cheti Nicoletti

Cheti Nicoletti

University of York - Department of Economics and Related Studies

Kjell G. Salvanes

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Emma Tominey

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)

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Abstract

Increasing mothers' labour supply in a child's preschool years can cause a reduction in time investments that lead to a negative direct effect on mid-childhood and teenage outcomes. But as mothers' work hours increase, income will rise. We ask whether income can compensate for the negative effect of hours by adopting a novel mediation analysis that exploits exogenous variation in both mothers' hours and family income in pre-school years. As expected we find a negative direct effect of an increase in mother's work hours on child test scores at age 11 and 15. However, income fully compensates for this negative direct effect. This is true for the full sample of children, for boys and girls and for children in households whose mother has a low and high level of education.

Keywords: child development, test scores, parental investments

JEL Classification: I22, I24

Suggested Citation

Nicoletti, Cheti and Salvanes, Kjell G. and Tominey, Emma, Mothers Working during Preschool Years and Child Skills: Does Income Compensate?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13079, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3562869

Cheti Nicoletti (Contact Author)

University of York - Department of Economics and Related Studies ( email )

Heslington
York, YO1 5DD
United Kingdom

Kjell G. Salvanes

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway
+47 5 595 9315 (Phone)
+47 5 595 9543 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Emma Tominey

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) ( email )

12 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
United Kingdom
+44 117 928 9019 (Phone)

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