IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/femeco/v14y2008i1p1-36.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

“Opting out?” The effect of children on women's employment in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Heather Boushey

Abstract

In the United States, a recent spate of popular media attention has focused on whether mothers, especially highly educated mothers in their thirties, are increasingly “opting out” of employment. This paper uses data from the Current Population Survey's Annual Social and Economic Survey (ASEC) to examine whether children cause women to exit employment. This paper finds that the “child effect” on women's employment has fallen since the end of the 1970s. The child effect was -21.8 percentage points in 1979 and has fallen consistently over the last two decades to -12.7 percentage points in 2005. Between 2000 and 2005, the child effect grew from -11.1 to -12.7, but the change was statistically insignificant. Recent declines in women's employment may be more an effect of the weak labor market for all women, mothers and non-mothers, rather than an increase in mothers voluntarily choosing to exit employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Heather Boushey, 2008. "“Opting out?” The effect of children on women's employment in the United States," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 1-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:14:y:2008:i:1:p:1-36
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700701716672
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13545700701716672
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2006. "The U.S. Gender Pay Gap in the 1990S: Slowing Convergence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 45-66, October.
    2. Claudia Goldin, 2004. "The Long Road to the Fast Track: Career and Family," NBER Working Papers 10331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Heather Boushey, 2005. "Are Women Opting Out? Debunking the Myth," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2005-36, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    4. Heather Boushey, 2008. "Family Friendly Policies: Helping Mothers Make Ends Meet," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 66(1), pages 51-70.
    5. Heather Boushey & Dean Baker & David Rosnick, 2005. "Gender Bias in the Current Economic Recovery? Declining Employment Rates for Women in the 21st Century," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2005-24, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    6. Stephanie Aaronson & Bruce Fallick & Andrew Figura & Jonathan Pingle & William Wascher, 2006. "The Recent Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate and Its Implications for Potential Labor Supply," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 37(1), pages 69-154.
    7. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M, 1997. "Wage Inequality and Family Labor Supply," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 72-97, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Women's employment; work and family; mother's employment; JEL Codes: J22; J16;

    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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:14:y:2008:i:1:p:1-36. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/RFEC20 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.