Do childcare arrangements when mothers work affect child health?

Anjula Saraff, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

This paper examines the link between women’s work participation and child health by assessing the effect of childcare arrangement on child health. Researchers seem to disagree on intra-household time substitutions as a result of mother’s labour force participation and its net effect on the average nutritional status of young children (Smith et al 1983; Ryan et al, 1984; Blau, 1981; Popkin, 1980). Using data from National Family Health Survey, 1998-99 and Demographic Health Survey, 1996-98 for India, Indonesia and Philippines, this paper aims to bring out the differences in childcare arrangements by mother’s characteristics. It attempts to highlight fathers’ characteristics who assist their spouses in childcare with a special emphasis on the effect that child caretaker has on child health. Controlling for other factors, results show that children looked after by mothers or by their relatives have better health status than those who are left to hired arrangement.

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Presented in Poster Session 4