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Public Policies and Women's Employment after Childbearing

  • Han, Wen-Jui

    ()

    (Columbia University)

  • Ruhm, Christopher J.

    ()

    (University of Virginia)

  • Waldfogel, Jane

    ()

    (Columbia University)

  • Washbrook, Elizabeth

    ()

    (University of Bristol)

This paper examines how the public policy environment in the United States affects work by new mothers following childbirth. We examine four types of policies that vary across states and affect the budget constraint in different ways. The policy environment has important effects, particularly for less advantaged mothers. There is a potential conflict between policies aiming to increase maternal employment and those maximizing the choices available to families with young children. However, this tradeoff is not absolute since some choice-increasing policies (generous child care subsidies and state parental leave laws) foster both choice and higher levels of employment.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3937.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy: Topics in Economic Analysis and Policy, 2011, 11(1), 1 - 48
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3937
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  1. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2008. "Child-Care Policy and the Labor Supply of Mothers with Young Children: A Natural Experiment from Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 519-548, 07.
  2. Erdal Tekin, 2007. "Childcare Subsidies, Wages, and Employment of Single Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
  3. Patricia M. Anderson & Phillip B. Levine, 1999. "Child Care and Mothers' Employment Decisions," JCPR Working Papers 64, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  4. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2002. "Public Schooling for Young Children and Maternal Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 307-322, March.
  5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 7666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
  7. David Blau & Erdal Tekin, 2007. "The determinants and consequences of child care subsidies for single mothers in the USA," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 719-741, October.
  8. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1997. "Policy Watch: The Family and Medical Leave Act," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 175-186, Summer.
  9. Berger, Mark C & Black, Dan A, 1992. "Child Care Subsidies, Quality of Care, and the Labor Supply of Low-Income, Single Mothers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 635-42, November.
  10. Paul Gregg & Maria Gutierrez-Domênech & Jane Waldfogel, 2007. "The Employment of Married Mothers in Great Britain, 1974-2000," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 842-864, November.
  11. Wen-Jui Han & Christopher Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2007. "Parental Leave Policies and Parents' Employment and Leave-Taking," NBER Working Papers 13697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Rosenbaum Dan T & Ruhm Christopher J, 2007. "Family Expenditures on Child Care," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-32, July.
  13. Blau, David & Currie, Janet, 2006. "Pre-School, Day Care, and After-School Care: Who's Minding the Kids?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  14. Michael Baker & Kevin S. Milligan, 2007. "Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates," NBER Working Papers 13188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Labour Force Participation of Women: Empirical Evidence on The Role of Policy and Other Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2003(2), pages 51-108.
  16. Steven J. Haider & Alison Jacknowitz & Robert F. Schoeni, 2002. "Welfare Work Requirements and Individual Well-being: Evidence from the Effects on Breastfeeding," Working Papers 02-01, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  17. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," NBER Working Papers 5688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Jane Waldfogel, 2006. "What do children need?," Public Policy Review, Institute for Public Policy Research, vol. 13(1), pages 26-34.
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