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An analysis of women's return-to-work decisions following first birth

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  • Lisa Barrow

Abstract

Women's labor force participation rate has increased sharply over the last two decades. The increase has been particularly dramatic for married women with young children suggesting that women are spending less time out of the labor force for child-bearing and rearing. Using the relatively detailed information available in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, this paper explores women's decisions to return to work within one year of the birth of their first child, focusing particularly on the effect of child care costs. Consistent with economic theory, women who face lower child care costs are more likely to return to work after giving birth as are women with higher potential wages and lower family income from other sources.

Suggested Citation

  • Lisa Barrow, 1998. "An analysis of women's return-to-work decisions following first birth," Working Paper Series WP-98-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-98-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wu, Chi-Fang & Eamon, Mary Keegan, 2011. "Patterns and correlates of involuntary unemployment and underemployment in single-mother families," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 820-828, June.
    2. Hanel Barbara & Riphahn Regina T., 2012. "The Employment of Mothers – Recent Developments and their Determinants in East and West Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(2), pages 146-176, April.
    3. Lisa Barrow, 1999. "Child care costs and the return-to-work decisions of new mothers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 42-55.
    4. Erik D. Craft, 2002. "The Demand For Vanity (Plates): Elasticities, Net Revenue Maximization, And Deadweight Loss," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(2), pages 133-144, April.
    5. Weber, Andrea Maria, 2004. "Wann kehren junge Mütter auf den Arbeitsmarkt zurück? Eine Verweildaueranalyse für Deutschland," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-08, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Hashimoto, Masanori & Percy, Rick & Schoellner, Teresa & Weinberg, Bruce A., 2004. "The Long and Short of It: Maternity Leave Coverage and Women’s Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 1207, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Sung-Hee Jeon, 2008. "The Impact of Lifecycle Events on Women's Labour Force Transitions: A Panel Analysis," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages 83-98, September.
    8. Julie Hotchkiss & M. Pitts & Mary Walker, 2011. "Labor force exit decisions of new mothers," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 397-414, September.
    9. Raquel Bernal, 2004. "Employment and Child Care Decisions of Mothers and the Well-being of their Children," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 361, Econometric Society.
    10. Dustmann, Christian & Schönberg, Uta, 2008. "The Effect of Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage on Children's Long-Term Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 3605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    Keywords

    Child care ; Labor supply;

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