The relationship between children's health and mother's employment and labor force participation: A multilevel analysis

Date
2012
Authors
Meng, Ke
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Volume Title
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Abstract

This research aims to investigate the detrimental effects of a child in poor health on their mother's employment and labor force participation at multiple scales including an aggregate county level analysis, an individual analysis and a multilevel analysis. Specifically, this research aims to identify the measures of children's health that significantly affect the employment status of mothers, explore the effects of county-level socio-demographic, economic characteristics and labor market conditions on female employment rates, and assess the effects of children's health on female employment rates and female labor force participation rates, as well as assess the structural labor market and socioeconomic factors that are associated with a mother's employment status, net of individual and family characteristics.

Six data sets were used in this research to clarify the issue. These data include: (1) the 2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-year estimate aggregate county level data, (2) 2010 TIGER/Line Shape file for counties in United States from Census Bureau, (3) the 2003 Rural-Urban Continuum Codes from Economic Research Service of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), (4) Area Resource File from the Department of Health and Human Services, (5) the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study---Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) and (6) the 2000 Census Summary 3 file. Spatial error models, spatial lag models, logistic regression and random intercept logistic regression techniques are used to investigate the detrimental effects of child's poor health on their mother's employment.

The analytic results indicate that: (1) child population health is negatively related to county level female employment rates and female labor force participation rates; (2) only a few child's health measures negatively affect the mother's employment and labor force participation, and presence of a very low birth weight infant is consistently detrimental to the mother's employment and labor force participation; (3) The effects of labor market characteristics on female employment are very weak, among all the county level characteristics, industry composition and female employment rate are major predictors for female employment.

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Keywords
Children's Health, Employment, Female, Labor Force Participation, Low Birth Weight
Citation
Department
Demography