Social Science Seminar - Maternal employment and child well-being: Insights from the education divide in Japan
Online Via Zoom

Studies have recognized the increasing importance of mother’s educational attainment in shaping children’s life chances. This study explores how maternal employment contributes to disparities by mother’s education in child well-being via two processes: (1) educational differences in the composition of maternal employment; and (2) educational differences in relationships between maternal employment and child outcomes. In doing so, this study goes beyond prior research by focusing on different types of employment (nonstandard versus regular) and its long-term pattern. Japan’s distinctive family, education, and labor market contexts provide alternative scenarios regarding how maternal employment and its relationship with child outcomes may vary by mother’s education, and its contribution to unequal child outcomes. Analyses using marginal structural models reveal limited differences in long-term employment between highly and less-educated Japanese mothers, but marked discrepancies in relationships between cumulative exposure to maternal employment and children’s outcomes by mother’s education. Observed detrimental impacts of mother’s work are almost exclusively limited to children with less-educated mothers without a college degree, and more pronounced for regular than for nonstandard jobs. Counterfactual predictions suggest that educational gaps in Japanese children’s outcomes primarily reflect differential relationships rather than compositional differences in maternal employment. These findings offer new insights into families as a nexus of inequality where family processes and child outcomes differ across the socioeconomic spectrum. 

Online Via Zoom
More Information

Jia Wang is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is affiliated with the Center for Demography and Ecology and the Center for Demography of Health and Aging. Her main research area lies at the intersection of social inequality and family demography, with a primary focus on work and family in the United States and East Asia. She is also doing research on health, aging, and migration. Her work has appeared (or forthcoming) in major sociology and demography journals such as Demography, Journal of Marriage and Family, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, and Social Science Research, among others. 



- ZOOM link will be sent via email, for HKUST members ONLY 

- Please use your HKUST ITSC account to join the zoom meeting.

- This meeting is being recorded.  By joining, you are giving consent for this meeting to be recorded.


Speakers / Performers:
Ms. Jia WANG
PhD Candidate, Dept of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison