Empirical Regularities across Cultures: The Effect of Children on Woman's Work
Not conditioning on previous employment, we find large differences in the apparent effects of children on married women's labor supply among American-born white women and three ethnically distinct groups of newly arrived immigrants to the United States. When we account for labor supply in the previous year, differences in current employment rates narrow dramatically and similar child status-work relations emerge. Both for women who worked and for those who did not work in the previous year, number of children is not associated with the propensity to start or to continue working and, with the exception of a "baby effect" for women who worked previously, the age of the youngest child has little effect on the propensity to start or to continue working. Information about work experience prior to the previous year yields additional valuable information for predicting current labor supply.
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