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Does maternal employment affect child nutrition status? new evidence from Egypt
Authors: Ahmed Shoukry Rashad, and Mesbah Fathy Sharaf
Source: Oxford Development Studies, 46(3); DOI: 10.1080/13600818.2018.1497589
Topic(s): Child health
Maternal health
Country: Africa
Published: JUL 2018
Abstract: Even though maternal employment can increase family income, several studies suggest that it could have adverse consequences on children’s health. In this study, we use a nationally representative sample of 12,888 children, aged 0–5 years from Egypt to examine the impact of maternal employment on child nutritional indicators, namely: stunting, wasting, and being underweight and overweight. We adopted various estimation methods to control for observable and unobservable household characteristics in order to identify the causal effect of maternal employment. These different techniques include, propensity score matching (PSM), OLS regression with controlling for a wide range of individual characteristics, and an instrumental variable two-stage least squares (IV 2SLS) approach. Results of the PSM and OLS suggest that maternal employment is weakly associated with having a malnourished child. On the other hand, the IV 2SLS suggests a stronger and significant association between maternal employment and poor nutritional status among children. KEYWORDS: Maternal employment, child under-nutrition, instrumental variable, Egypt