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Author: Zhou, Xilin
Resulting in 2 citations.
1. Courtemanche, Charles
Tchernis, Rusty
Zhou, Xilin
Parental Work Hours and Childhood Obesity: Evidence Using Instrumental Variables Related to Sibling School Eligibility
NBER Working Paper No. 23376, National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2017.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w23376
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79, NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Childhood; Maternal Employment; Modeling, Instrumental Variables; Obesity; Parental Influences; School Entry/Readiness; Siblings; Work Hours

This study exploits plausibly exogenous variation from the youngest sibling's school eligibility to estimate the effects of parental work on the weight outcomes of older children in the household. Data come from the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth linked to the Child and Young Adult Supplement. We first show that mothers' work hours increase gradually as the age of the youngest child rises, whereas mothers' spouses' work hours exhibit a discontinuous jump at kindergarten eligibility. Leveraging these insights, we develop an instrumental variables model that shows that parents' work hours lead to larger increases in children's BMI z-scores and probabilities of being overweight and obese than those identified in previous studies. We find no evidence that the impacts of maternal and paternal work are different. Subsample analyses find that the effects are concentrated among advantaged households, as measured by an index involving education, race, and mother's marital status.
Bibliography Citation
Courtemanche, Charles, Rusty Tchernis and Xilin Zhou. "Parental Work Hours and Childhood Obesity: Evidence Using Instrumental Variables Related to Sibling School Eligibility." NBER Working Paper No. 23376, National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2017.
2. Zhou, Xilin
Essays on Women's Employment and Children's Well-Being
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, Georgia State University, August 2015
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, Georgia State University
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Child Care Arrangements; Child Health; Geocoded Data; Maternal Employment; Modeling, Fixed Effects; Modeling, Instrumental Variables; Obesity; Work History

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

In chapter I, I investigate the causal effects of maternal employment on childhood obesity. Empirical analysis of the effects of maternal employment on childhood obesity is complicated by the endogeneity of mother's labor supply. A mother’s decision to work likely reflects underlying factors – such as ability and motivation – that could directly influence child health outcomes. To address this concern, this study implements an instrumental variables (IV) strategy which utilizes exogenous variation in maternal employment coming from the youngest sibling's school eligibility. With data on children ages 7-17 from the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth linked to the Child Supplement, I explore the effects of maternal employment on children's BMI z-score and probabilities of being overweight and obese. OLS estimates indicate a moderate association, consistent with the prior literature. However, the IV estimates show that an increase in mothers' labor supply leads to large weight gains among children, suggesting that not addressing the endogeneity of maternal employment leads to underestimated causal effects.
Bibliography Citation
Zhou, Xilin. Essays on Women's Employment and Children's Well-Being. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, Georgia State University, August 2015.