IZA Journal of Labor & Development ,April 2016
We exploit the implementation of India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to identify exogenous shifts in mothers’ labor force participation and its impact on their children’s educational outcomes. Using child level panel data, we find that a mother’s participation in the labor force increases her children’s time spent in school and leads to better grade progression. These results account for age cohort trends and for differences in time trends by initial levels of economic development at the district and sub-district levels. We find evidence of greater household decision-making power of working mothers as an explanation of our results.