IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

To work or not to work: the economics of a mother's dilemma

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

Utilizing linked vital statistics, administrative employer, and state welfare records, the analysis in this paper investigates the determinants of a woman's intermittent labor force decision at the time of a major life event: the birth of a child. The results indicate that both direct and opportunity labor market costs of exiting the workforce figure significantly into that decision. Further, the analysis reveals the importance of including information about the mother's prebirth job when making inferences about the role various demographics play in the intermittent labor force decision.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta Working Paper with number 2011-02.

in new window

Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2011-02
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1000 Peachtree St., N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30309
Phone: 404-521-8500
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Pylkkänen, Elina & Smith, Nina, 2004. "Career Interruptions due to Parental Leave - A Comparative Study of Denmark and Sweden," Working Papers 04-1, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  3. Siv S. Gustafsson & Shirley Dex & Cécile M. M. P. Wetzels & Jan Dirk Vlasblom, 1996. "Women`s labor force transitions in connection with childbirth: A panel data comparison between Germany, Sweden and Great Britain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 223-246.
  4. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts, 2007. "The Role of Labor Market Intermittency in Explaining Gender Wage Differentials," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 417-421, May.
  5. repec:ese:iserwp:2007-30 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. 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, vol. 12(4), pages 523-545.
  7. C. Katharina Spiess & Jan Ondrich & Qing Yang, 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, vol. 9(3), pages 247-266.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts, 2003. "Female labor force intermittency and current earnings: a switching regression model with unknown sample selection," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-33, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2011-02. 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: (Elaine Clokey)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.