Predicting Female Labor Supply: Effects of Children and Recent Work Experience
This study examines the empirical associations between female labor supply and child status and marital status using 1970 and 1980 U.S. census data and 1971 and 1981 Canadian census data. When the data are used in a purely cross-sectional manner, without controlling for previous labor supply, we find, as others have, that female labor supply is negatively related to the number of children a woman has had. However, this relationship changes when we condition on weeks of work in the previous year. This study makes use of longitudinal information in the Canadian and U.S. census data that has been largely ignored. The paper also explores certain econometric issues raised by the nature of the empirical results.
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