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Assessing the impact of education and marriage on labor market exit decisions of women

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  • Julie L. Hotchkiss
  • M. Melinda Pitts
  • Mary Beth Walker

Abstract

During the late 1990s, the convergence of women's labor force participation rates to men's rates came to a halt. This paper explores the degree to which the role of education and marriage in women's labor supply decisions also changed over this time period. Specifically, this paper investigates women's decisions to exit the labor market upon the birth of a child. The results indicate that changing exit behavior among married, educated women at this period in their lives was not likely the driving force behind the aggregate changes seen in labor force participation. Rather, changes in exit rates among single women, particularly those less educated, are much more consistent with the changing pattern of aggregate female labor force participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & Mary Beth Walker, 2010. "Assessing the impact of education and marriage on labor market exit decisions of women," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2010-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2010-02
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    File URL: http://www.frbatlanta.org/documents/pubs/wp/wp1002.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ondrich, Jan & Spiess, C Katharina & Yang, Qing, 1996. "Barefoot and in a German Kitchen: Federal Parental Leave and Benefit Policy and the Return to Work after Childbirth in Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 247-266, August.
    2. Heather Boushey, 2005. "Are Women Opting Out? Debunking the Myth," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2005-36, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    3. Susan L. Averett & Leslie A. Whittington, 2001. "Does Maternity Leave Induce Births?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 403-417, October.
    4. Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2006. "Changes in behavioral and characteristic determination of female labor force participation, 1975-2005," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 2, pages 1-20.
    5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317.
    6. Burgess, Simon & Gregg, Paul & Propper, Carol & Washbrook, Elizabeth, 2008. "Maternity rights and mothers' return to work," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 168-201, April.
    7. Julie L. Hotchkiss & John C. Robertson, 2006. "Asymmetric labor force participation decisions over the business cycle: evidence from U.S. microdata," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2006-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    8. Katharine Bradbury & Jane Katz, 2005. "Women's rise: a work in progress," Regional Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Q 1, pages 58-67.
    9. Chiara Pronzato, 2009. "Return to work after childbirth: does parental leave matter in Europe?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 341-360, December.
    10. Elina Pylkkänen & Nina Smith, 2003. "Career Interruptions Due to Parental Leave: A Comparative Study of Denmark and Sweden," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 1, OECD Publishing.
    11. Yoshio Higuchi & Jane Waldfogel & Masahiro Abe, 1999. "Family leave policies and women's retention after childbirth: Evidence from the United States, Britain, and Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(4), pages 523-545.
    12. Eiko Kenjoh, 2005. "New Mothers' Employment and Public Policy in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Japan," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(s1), pages 5-49, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Julie L. Hotchkiss & Menbere Shiferaw, 2011. "Decomposing the education wage gap: everything but the kitchen sink," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue July, pages 243-272.
    2. Hotchkiss, Julie L. & Pitts, M. Melinda & Walker, Mary Beth, 2011. "To work or not to work: the economics of a mother's dilemma," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2011-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

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