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An analysis of women's return-to-work decisions following first birth

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  • Lisa Barrow

Abstract

Women's labor force participation rate has increased sharply over the last two decades. The increase has been particularly dramatic for married women with young children suggesting that women are spending less time out of the labor force for child-bearing and rearing. Using the relatively detailed information available in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, this paper explores women's decisions to return to work within one year of the birth of their first child, focusing particularly on the effect of child care costs. Consistent with economic theory, women who face lower child care costs are more likely to return to work after giving birth as are women with higher potential wages and lower family income from other sources.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-98-9.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-98-9

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Keywords: Child care ; Labor supply;

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References

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  1. Ribar, D.C., 1991. "A Structural Model of Child Care and the Labor Supply of Married Women," Papers 1-91-1, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. David C. Ribar, 1992. "Child Care and the Labor Supply of Married Women: Reduced Form Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 134-165.
  5. 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.
  6. Leibowitz, A. & Klerman, J.A., 1995. "Explaining Changes in Married Mothers'Employment Over Time," Papers 95-13, RAND - Reprint Series.
  7. Blundell, Richard & Ham, John & Meghir, Costas, 1987. "Unemployment and Female Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388a), pages 44-64, Supplemen.
  8. James J. Heckman, 1974. "Effects of Child-Care Programs on Women's Work Effort," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 136-169 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Arleen Leibowitz & Jacob Klerman, 1995. "Explaining changes in married mothers’ employment over time," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 365-378, August.
  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. 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.
  14. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1992. "Race and Gender Pay Differentials," NBER Working Papers 4120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Hanel, Barbara & Riphahn, Regina T., 2011. "The Employment of Mothers: Recent Developments and their Determinants in East and West Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 5752, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. Weber, Andrea Maria, 2004. "Wann kehren junge Mütter auf den Arbeitsmarkt zurück? Eine Verweildaueranalyse für Deutschland," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-08, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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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