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DT 05/21 - O Father Where Art Thou? Early maternal employment and child development when fathers and intrahousehold task division come into the picture.

This article provides new evidence for a developing country regarding early maternal employment and child development by exploring alternative household care arrangements that could compensate for a loss in maternal care time. First we analyze whether the condition of maternal employment, its intensity —part-time or full-time jobs— and the timing of a mother's entrance into the labor market affects her child's development; we focus on the effects of intrahousehold distribution regarding childcare and household tasks on the decision of maternal employment and child development. We address the causality of early maternal labor and its conditions on a child's probability of being considered at risk in several development dimensions by estimating seemingly unrelated equations with instrumental variables; therefore we account for simultaneity in decisions regarding maternal employment and formal childcare. Results indicate that neither maternal employment, nor the job's intensity influences a child's development. However, fathers' involvement in childrearing and more equitable distribution of intrahousehold tasks can foster child development as much as maternal labor supply.
 
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