Website: https://sites.google.com/site/giuseppesorrenti85/

JMP: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jzbmiQVAnwM7-2_atlbKz0gzRhbHzSce/view

 

Abstract

Families face a trade-off when deciding how to allocate time between working and parenting. This
decision can impact child development. In this paper, we study the effect of family income and
maternal hours worked on child development. We exploit the longitudinal variation in the Earned
Income Tax Credit benefits and in shocks on local labor market conditions as instruments to
overcome the endogeneity of income and hours worked. We find evidence of a trade-off between
the income effect (a surge in economic resources) and the substitution effect (less parental time) on
child development. An additional $1,000 in family income improves cognitive development by 4.4
percent of a standard deviation but has no effect on behavioral development. A yearly increase
of 100 work hours negatively affects cognitive and behavioral development by approximately 6
percent of a standard deviation. We find that the substitution effect dominates the income effect
when the hourly wage is below $13.50.