The Impact of Maternal Employment on Child Survival—the Case of India

Ameed Saabneh, University of Pennsylvania

This paper re-examines the relationship between maternal employment and child survival in India. It investigates differences in survival to age five between children of working and non-working mothers. Because working mothers vary in many work-related aspects like type of employer, continuity of employment, and type of payment, which most of are highly related to occupation, each occupational category is considered a different treatment group, which is separately compared to non-working mothers. Data come from India’s National Family Health Survey 2005-06. The formation of comparison groups (e.g. non-working vs. working mothers) is aided by propensity score matching. Differences between matched groups in child survival are estimated by survival analysis including Cox regression models. In urban areas, results show that the higher risk of dying for children of working mothers appears only among children of mothers working on agriculture. No similar relationship was found in rural areas.

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Presented in Session 191: Effects of Parental Time Use and Employment on Child Well-Being