Maternal Work Conditions and Child Development

(2012), Economics of Education Review 31(6): 1037-1057 (with A. Hsin)

How do maternal work conditions, such as psychological stress and physical hazards, affect
children’s development? Combining data from the Child Development Supplement of the
Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Occupational Information Network allows us
to shed some light on this question. We employ various techniques including OLS with
extensive controls, a value added approach and individual fixed effects in order to address
potential endogeneity problems. Our results reveal that mothers’ exposure to work-related
hazards negatively affects children’s cognitive development and to work-related stress
negatively affects children’s behavioral development. While maternal time investments
play a small but significant role in mediating these negative associations, paternal time
investments neither reinforce nor compensate these associations.