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An Analysis of Women's Return-to-Work Decisions following First Birth

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  • Barrow, Lisa

Abstract

Women's labor force participation has increased sharply over the last two decades, particularly for married women with young children. This suggests women are spending less time out of the labor force for child bearing and rearing. Using the detailed information available in the NLSY, I explore women decisions to return to work within one year of their first child's birth, focusing on the effect of child care costs. Consistent with economic theory, women facing lower child care costs are more likely to return to work as are women with higher potential wages and lower family income from other sources. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 37 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 432-51

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:37:y:1999:i:3:p:432-51

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References

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  1. Blundell, Richard William & Ham, John & Meghir, Costas, 1987. "Unemployment and Female Labour Supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 149, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ribar, David C, 1995. "A Structural Model of Child Care and the Labor Supply of Married Women," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 558-97, July.
  3. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Effects of Child-Care Programs on Women's Work Effort," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S136-S163, Part II, .
  4. Klerman, Jacob Alex & Leibowitz, Arleen, 1990. "Child Care and Women's Return to Work after Childbirth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 284-88, May.
  5. Leibowitz, A. & Klerman, J.A., 1995. "Explaining Changes in Married Mothers'Employment Over Time," Papers 95-13, RAND - Reprint Series.
  6. Arleen Leibowitz & Jacob Klerman, 1995. "Explaining changes in married mothers’ employment over time," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 365-378, August.
  7. James J. Heckrnan, 1974. "Effects of Child-Care Programs on Women's Work Effort," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 491-524 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lisa M. Powell, 1997. "The Impact of Child Care Cost on the Labour Supply of Married Mothers: Evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(3), pages 577-94, August.
  9. Ribar, D.C., 1990. "Child Care And The Labor Supply Of Married Women: Reducted Form Evidence," Papers 9-90-9, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  10. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
  11. Connelly, Rachel, 1992. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on Married Women's Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 83-90, February.
  12. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1988. "Child-Care Costs and Family Labor Supply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 374-81, August.
  13. Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins & Irwin Garfinkel, 1992. "A Structural Model of Labor Supply and Child Care Demand," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 166-203.
  14. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1992. "Race and Gender Pay Differentials," NBER Working Papers 4120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. David Shapiro & Frank L. Mott, 1994. "Long-Term Employment and Earnings of Women in Relation to Employment Behavior Surrounding the First Birth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 248-275.
  16. Jean Kimmel, 1992. "Child Care and the Employment Behavior of Single and Married Mothers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 93-14, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Dustmann, Christian & Schönberg, Uta, 2008. "The Effect of Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage on Children's Long-Term Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 3605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Sung-Hee Jeon, 2008. "The Impact of Lifecycle Events on Women's Labour Force Transitions: A Panel Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages S83-S98, 09.
  3. Lisa Barrow, 1999. "Child care costs and the return-to-work decisions of new mothers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 42-55.
  4. Barbara Hanel & Regina T. Riphahn, 2010. "The Employment of Mothers - Recent Developments and their Determinants in East and West Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 3189, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Hashimoto, Masanori & Percy, Rick & Schoellner, Teresa & Weinberg, Bruce A., 2004. "The Long and Short of It: Maternity Leave Coverage and Women’s Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 1207, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Julie Hotchkiss & M. Pitts & Mary Walker, 2011. "Labor force exit decisions of new mothers," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 397-414, September.
  7. Raquel Bernal, 2004. "Employment and Child Care Decisions of Mothers and the Well-being of their Children," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 361, Econometric Society.
  8. Weber, Andrea Maria, 2004. "Wann kehren junge Mütter auf den Arbeitsmarkt zurück? : eine Verweildaueranalyse für Deutschland," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 22617, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
  9. Wu, Chi-Fang & Eamon, Mary Keegan, 2011. "Patterns and correlates of involuntary unemployment and underemployment in single-mother families," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 820-828, June.
  10. Rao Sahib, P., 2000. "Sterilisation and the work careers of women," Research Report 00D41, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).

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