MATERNAL EMPLOYMENT TYPE, MATERNAL CARE AND CHILD HEALTH IN RURAL CHINA: POLICY AND BEHAVIOR Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
Creator
  • Yao, Jianfeng
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics
Abstract
  • How a mother's labor market activities and child care arrangement affect children's health is an especially important subject for China. From the perspective of a rural woman's two-fold identity in the family as an income earner and childcare giver, the effect of the change in her work patterns and child care supply behaviors on child development has added an element of uncertainty. In rural areas, we are not sure which is more important in determining child health, family income and social status or maternal child care or unobserved heterogeneities such as culture, eating habits and other preferences of living. Driven to answer this question, we have studied the labor supply patterns of women who are engaged in various working sectors in rural areas of China where the rural population primarily relies on non-medical choices to improve their health. We discuss women's participation in labor and its long-term effect on children's health outcomes. Using the China Health and Nutritional Survey, we developed a dynamic model of rural women's agricultural, nonagricultural, and migratory labor supply behavior and their associated decisions related to child care arrangement. The Discrete Factor Random Effects has enabled us to perform a joint estimation of the dynamic effects of maternal employment types and associated maternal care decisions of rural women on the demand for nutritional inputs for children and child health production. Implications of policies about labor migration, food subsidy, child care subsidy and health care reform are reflected in these effects. We find that labor-intensive nonagricultural and migratory employment lead to a decrease in overall child health relative to home production. However, subsidies to reduce food price and medical care cost will decrease the odds of maternal nonagricultural work and increase mothers' willingness to spend more time in childcare, and rural children's health will be consequently improved. In addition, small wage increases in the nonagricultural sector will actually worsen child health conditions as the income effect reinforces the substitution effect. Overall, In order to effectively improve the child health in rural areas, maternal employment and childcare decisions should be considered carefully when formulating public policies.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Akin, John S.
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2013
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