As women’s labor force participation has risen around the globe, scholarly and policy discourse on the ramifications of this employment growth has intensified. This book explores the links between maternal employment and child health using an international perspective that is grounded in economic theory and rigorous empirical methods.
Women’s labor market activity affects child health largely because their paid work raises household income, which strengthens families’ abilities to finance healthcare needs and nutritious food. However, time away from children could counteract some of the benefits of higher socioeconomic status that spring from maternal employment. New evidence based on data from nine South and Southeast Asian countries illuminates the potential tradeoff between the benefits and challenges families contend with in the face of women’s labor market activity. This book provides new, original evidence on links between maternal employment and children’s health using data associated with three indicators of children’s nutritional status: birth size, stunting, and wasting. Results support the implementation and enforcement of policy interventions that bolster women’s advancement in the labor market and reduce undernutrition among children.
Scholars, students, policymakers and all those with an interest in nutritional science, gender, economics of the family, or development economies will find the methodology and original results expounded here both useful and informative.