Maternal Employment and Child Health
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Maternal Employment and Child Health

Global Issues and Policy Solutions

Yana van der Meulen Rodgers

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.
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Chapter 7: Conclusion and Policy Implications

Yana van der Meulen Rodgers


SUMMARY OF METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH This book has generated new evidence on the relationship between women’s employment and children’s nutritional status using data from nine developing countries in South and Southeast Asia: Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Pakistan in South Asia; and Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Timor-Leste in Southeast Asia. For each country, the analysis used the most recently available wave of the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) database, with the entire sample spanning the 2005–09 period. The DHS sampling techniques and methodology for data collection and coding have been well substantiated by international researchers, thus contributing to the DHS reputation for providing high-quality, nationally-representative data on a range of population and health topics. Of the nine Asian countries, all but Bangladesh had data on child birth size, resulting in a sample of eight countries for the birth size analysis. Similarly, of the nine sample countries, all but Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Philippines had data on child height and weight at the time of the survey, resulting in a sample of six countries for the stunting and wasting analysis. The main independent variable of interest, maternal employment, was classified as either mother not employed in the past year, mother employed in the past year but not currently, or mother currently employed. This threeway categorization was consistent with the coding in the original survey data and provided a more finely-tuned measure of employment status than a twoway categorization of currently employed versus not currently employed, or employed in past year...

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