Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Using nationally representative cross-sectional data from the Nepal Living Standards Survey, this Population Council working paper examines the influence of the nature of mothers’ work on Nepali children’s schooling outcomes. It analyses whether the engagement of mothers (and fathers) in nonagricultural work has significant consequences for their children’s school attendance and grade attainment, compared with these consequences when parents’ work is in traditional subsistence agriculture. Results indicate that children of parents who both work in the nonagriculture sector are significantly more likely to have attended or currently be attending school and have higher grade attainment, compared with children whose parents work in the agriculture sector. These associations do not persist, however, when income controls are added, which suggests that strong income effects may be driving these associations. Policy implications of this research, including those for policies promoting women’s economic participation and for schooling of children in Nepal, are discussed.