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Journal Articles Journal of Health Economics Year : 2020

Child sleep and mother labour market outcomes


We show that sleep deprivation exerts strong negative effects on mothers’ labour market performance. To isolate variations in maternal sleep, we exploit unique variations in child sleep disruption using a UK panel dataset that follows mother-child pairs through time. We find that sleeping one hour less per night on average significantly decreases maternal labour force participation, the number of hours worked and household income. We identify one mechanism driving the effects, namely the influence of maternal sleep on selection into full-time versus part-time work. Increased schedule flexibility for mothers with sufficient tenure mitigates the negative effects of sleep deprivation.

Dates and versions

hal-02534271 , version 1 (06-04-2020)



Joan Costa-Font, Sarah N Flèche. Child sleep and mother labour market outcomes. Journal of Health Economics, 2020, 69, pp.102258. ⟨10.1016/j.jhealeco.2019.102258⟩. ⟨hal-02534271⟩
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