New Fathers' Labor Supply: Does Child Health Matter

Publication Year
2005

Type

Journal Article
Abstract

Objective
We estimate the effect of poor child health on the labor supply of fathers post-welfare reform, using a national sample of mostly unwed parents and their children—a group at high risk of living in poverty.

Method
We control for a rich set of covariates, include state fixed effects, and test for the endogeneity of child health by estimating bivariate probit models.

Results
We find that having a young child in poor health reduces the father's probability of being employed by four percentage points. The effect appears to be strongest among fathers who cohabit with, but are not married to, the child's mother.

Conclusion
The results suggest a potential source by which young children with serious health problems may receive lower levels of health investment than their healthier peers—their fathers' reduced likelihood of being employed.

Journal
Social Science Quarterly
Volume
86
Issue
1
Pages
1399-1417