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Children and Women's Participation Dynamics: Transitory and Long-Term Effects

  • Voicu, Alexandru


    (CUNY - College of Staten Island)

  • Buddelmeyer, Hielke


    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

Children affect the after-birth labor force participation of women in two ways. Directly, the time spent in child-care reduces the labor market effort. The time spent out of the labor market while on maternity leave alters women's participation experience and, thus, indirectly affects subsequent participation behavior. This paper proposes a model that disentangles the direct and indirect effect of children on women's labor force participation, and evaluates their relative importance. Participation decisions on a three-state space - employed full-time, employed part-time, not employed - are represented by a multivariate probit model with a general correlation structure. The model allows for a high degree of flexibility in modeling the dependence of sequential decisions. The estimation is performed using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. It is shown that the indirect effect, through time out of the labor market, is more important. The discrepancy is sharper for full-time employment and grows with the length of the interruption.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 729.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp729
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  1. Keane, Michael P, 1994. "A Computationally Practical Simulation Estimator for Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 95-116, January.
  2. Boeri, Tito & Flinn, Christopher J., 1997. "Returns to Mobility in the Transition to a Market Economy," Working Papers 97-41, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Francine D. Blau, 1990. "Career Plans and Expectations of Young Women and Men: The Earnings Gap and Labor Force Participation," NBER Working Papers 3445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Geweke, John, 1989. "Bayesian Inference in Econometric Models Using Monte Carlo Integration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1317-39, November.
  5. Shorrocks, A F, 1978. "The Measurement of Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1013-24, September.
  6. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S33-58, January.
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