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The Labour Force Participation of Young Mothers Versus Older Mothers


  • Marcia Keegan

    () (University of Canberra)

  • Michael Corliss


Previous research has suggested that women who have a baby before age 25 are more likely to drop out of the labour force than women who have a baby after turning 25. In addition, the research found younger mothers stay out of work for longer. This paper will use data from the six waves of HILDA to evaluate and discuss the factors that influence the labour force participation of younger mothers. Some of the possible explanations that will be examined are that more experienced women have greater flexibility to negotiate family friendly working conditions; that younger women have lower earning potential and find parenting payments or relying on her spouse a better alternative; or that women with few career ambitions are less likely to delay childbearing until after 25.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcia Keegan & Michael Corliss, 2008. "The Labour Force Participation of Young Mothers Versus Older Mothers," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 11(2), pages 149-161, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:11:y:2008:i:2:p:149-161

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    More about this item


    Time Allocation and Labor Supply Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination Particular Labor Markets: Public Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy


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