Maternal Employment and Child Outcomes: Evidence from the Irish Marriage Bar

Mosca, Irene and O'Sullivan, Vincent Aidan and Wright, Robert (2017) Maternal Employment and Child Outcomes: Evidence from the Irish Marriage Bar. Working Paper. The Department of Economics, Lancaster.

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Abstract

This paper empirically investigates the relationship between maternal employment and child outcomes using micro-data collected in the third wave of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. A novel source of exogenous variation in the employment decisions of women is used to investigate this relationship. Between the 1920s and the 1970s, women working in certain sectors or in certain jobs were required to leave paid employment upon getting married in Ireland. The majority of women affected by this “Marriage Bar” then became mothers and never returned to work, or returned only after several years. Regression analysis is used to compare the educational attainment of the children of mothers who were required to leave employment on marriage because of the Marriage Bar to the educational attainment of the children of mothers who were not required to do so. It is found that the children of mothers affected by the Marriage Bar have a much higher probability of completing university education than the children of mothers who were not. The difference is around seven percentage points. This is a sizeable effect when compared to the observation that about 40% of the children in the sample completed university education. This effect is found to be robust to alternative specifications that include variables aimed at controlling for differences in maternal occupation and personality traits and differences in paternal education.

Item Type:
Monograph (Working Paper)
Subjects:
ID Code:
87818
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
20 Sep 2017 08:28
Refereed?:
No
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Sep 2020 23:49