Rodgers, Yana V. (2011). New results for South and Southeast Asia. Maternal Employment and Child Health: Global Issues and Policy Solutions, 119-158. Retrieved from https://doi.org/doi:10.7282/t3-vzjw-0s40
AbstractMaternal employment shows varying impacts on indicators of poor child nutrition in the sample of nine Southeast and South Asian countries. This variation is most apparent in the multivariate results for the likelihood of small birth size, where employment in the past year but not currently has a mitigating effect for one country and an adverse effect in two countries, and current maternal employment has a mitigating effect in two countries and an adverse effect in two countries. The results for stunting indicate that once the full set of socioeconomic status and household characteristics are included in the estimations, maternal employment loses its statistically significant association with greater risk of stunting. The main explanation is that in low-income countries, women of lower socioeconomic status have little choice but to engage in market-based work in order to sustain household well-being. In contrast, current maternal employment leads to roughly a three percent increase in the likelihood of child wasting in Bangladesh, Maldives, and Timor-Leste, even after including the full set of control variables. A possible explanation is that wasting, an indicator of short-term nutritional deprivation that tends to reflect recent illness or trauma from catastrophic events, is more likely to cut across households of different socioeconomic status.
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