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Maternal employment and childhood malnutrition in Ecuador

José Carlos Andrade () and Joan Gil ()
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José Carlos Andrade: Universitat de Barcelona and INEC Ecuador

No 2022/416, UB Economics Working Papers from Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB School of Economics

Abstract: This paper estimates the causal impact of maternal employment on several childhood malnutrition outcomes in Ecuador, to understand the trade-off between the time mothers devote to work and child-caring activities. We use exogenous regional variation in maternal labour market conditions to account for the potential endogeneity of mothers’ employment. Using the Ecuadorian National Health and Nutrition Survey 2018 and the Living Conditions Survey 2014, the instrumental variable estimations indicated that maternal employment increases the probability of having stunted children by between 4.3 and 21 percent, while no significant effect was found on children suffering from wasting, underweight or overweight. We found that children with more educated, richer mothers appeared to be the most negatively affected. The results were robust to several robustness checks.

Keywords: Maternal employment; malnutrition outcomes; childhood; Ecuador. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 I15 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2022
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-dev and nep-lma
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