The Opt-Out Revolution: A Descriptive Analysis
Using data from the 1980, 1990, and 2000 U.S. Census, I find little support for the opt-out revolution – highly educated women, relative to their less educated counterparts, are exiting the labor force to care for their families at higher rates today than in earlier time periods – if one focuses solely on the decision to work a positive number of hours irrespective of marital status or race. If one, however, focuses on both the decision to work a positive number of hours as well as the decision to adjust annual hours of work (conditional on working), I find some evidence of the opt-out revolution, particularly among white college educated married women in male dominated occupations.
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- Qingyan Shang & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2009. "Opting For Families: Recent Trends in the Fertility of Highly Educated Women," NBER Working Papers 15074, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heather Boushey, 2005. "Are Women Opting Out? Debunking the Myth," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2005-36, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
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