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Grandparents' Childcare and Female Labor Force Participation

Author

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  • Posadas, Josefina

    () (World Bank)

  • Vidal-Fernández, Marian

    () (University of Sydney)

Abstract

In the U.S., grandparents look after one in five preschool children of employed women. Does this source of informal childcare increase female labor force participation and if so, up to what extent? The main challenge to answer this question is that a positive relationship between grandparents’ childcare and female labor force participation might not be causal. We use the maternal grandmother’s death as an instrument of grandparents’ childcare to measure the effect of grandparents’ childcare on maternal labor force participation (MLFP). We compare OLS and IV estimates and find that grandparents’ childcare increases MLFP by 15 percentage points on average. We argue that most of the effect is driven by families from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Suggested Citation

  • Posadas, Josefina & Vidal-Fernández, Marian, 2012. "Grandparents' Childcare and Female Labor Force Participation," IZA Discussion Papers 6398, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6398
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 709-745, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nataliya Kusa, 2018. "Should intra-familial time transfers be compensated financially?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201802, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Wolfgang Frimmel & Martin Halla & Bernhard Schmidpeter & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2017. "Grandmothers' Labor Supply," Economics working papers 2017-20, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    3. Christine Ho, 2015. "Grandchild care, intergenerational transfers, and grandparents’ labor supply," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 359-384, June.
    4. Gunatilaka, Ramani., 2013. "To work or not to work? : Factors holding women back from market work in Sri Lanka," ILO Working Papers 994838403402676, International Labour Organization.
    5. repec:ilo:ilowps:483840 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Claudia Olivetti & M. Daniele Paserman & Laura Salisbury, 2016. "Three-generation Mobility in the United States, 1850-1940: The Role of Maternal and Paternal Grandparents," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 903, Boston College Department of Economics.
    7. Josefina Posadas, 2012. "Grandparents as Child Care Providers : Factors to Consider When Designing Child Care Policies," World Bank Other Operational Studies 17056, The World Bank.
    8. Janina Reinkowski, 2014. "Empirical Essays in the Economics of Ageing and the Economics of Innovation," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 53, June.
    9. Ke Shen & Ping Yan & Yi Zeng, 2016. "Coresidence with elderly parents and female labor supply in China," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 35(23), pages 645-670, September.
    10. P. Rupert & G. Zanella, 2014. "Grandchildren and Their Grandparents’ Labor Supply," Working Papers wp937, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    11. Rupert, Peter & Zanella, Giulio, 2017. "Grandchildren and Their Grandparents' Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 11235, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Janice Compton, 2015. "Family proximity and the labor force status of women in Canada," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 323-358, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    childcare; maternal labor force participation; grandparents; NLSY;

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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