This project uses a restricted version of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from the National Center for Health Statistics. Over the past several decades, women have been steadily increasing their labor supply. The economic impact of this trend cannot be completely characterized without an understanding of the externalities involved. Children’s health is considered important not just because of the contemporaneous costs and burden, but also because child health is strongly linked to adult health and wellbeing.
Maternal labor supply is generally thought of as a consequence of, rather than the cause of, child health. It has been shown that mothers reduce their labor supply when their children are unhealthy or disabled, which induces a positive correlation between maternal labor supply and child health. By using variation in a mother’s youngest child’s eligibility for kindergarten, this research will be able to provide a causal estimate of the effect of maternal labor supply on child health. The success of this research relies on access to the restricted NHIS, which contains unique data allowing a child’s kindergarten eligibility to be precisely calculated.