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From giving birth to paid labor: the effects of adult education for prime-aged mothers

  • Bergemann, Annette


    (Department of Economics, Mannheim University)

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.


    (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)

Women without work after childbirth are at risk of losing their connection to the labor market. However, they may participate in adult education programs. We analyze the effect of this on the duration to work and on the wage rate, by applying conditional difference-in-differences approaches. We use Swedish matched longitudinal register data sets covering the full population. The Swedish adult education program is unprecedented in its size, and enrollment is universally available at virtually no cost. We focus on low-skilled women who have recently given birth. We take account of program accessibility, selection issues, course heterogeneity, the income received during adult education, parental leave, and child care fees. Adult education shows positive effects for the unemployed with respect to both the employment probability and wages. To explain the actual program participation rate, we model the enrollment decision from the mothers´ point of view, using the estimates to calibrate a job search model. We conclude that non-pecuniary factors cause mothers non to enter adult education.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2014:5.

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Length: 67 pages
Date of creation: 25 Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2014_005
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  7. Ann-Sofie Kolm & Edward P. Lazear, 2010. "Policies Affecting Work Patterns and Labor Income for Women," NBER Chapters, in: Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden, pages 57-81 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  25. Albrecht, James & van den Berg, Gerard J. & Vroman, Susan, 2005. "The Knowledge Lift: The Swedish Adult Education Program That Aimed to Eliminate Low Worker Skill Levels," IZA Discussion Papers 1503, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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