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Public Policies and Women's Employment after Childbearing

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  • Wen-Jui Han
  • Christopher Ruhm
  • Jane Waldfogel
  • Elizabeth Washbrook

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Wen-Jui Han & Christopher Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel & Elizabeth Washbrook, 2009. "Public Policies and Women's Employment after Childbearing," NBER Working Papers 14660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14660 Note: CH LS PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    3. 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.
    4. Wen-Jui Han & Christopher Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2009. "Parental leave policies and parents' employment and leave-taking," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 29-54.
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    6. Jane Waldfogel, 2006. "What do children need?," Public Policy Review, Institute for Public Policy Research, vol. 13(1), pages 26-34.
    7. 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.
    8. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    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 635-642, November.
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    13. 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.
    14. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317.
    15. Florence Jaumotte, 2004. "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. David Blau & Erdal Tekin, 2007. "The determinants and consequences of child care subsidies for single mothers in the USA," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(4), pages 719-741, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2017. "The Economic Consequences of Family Policies: Lessons from a Century of Legislation in High-Income Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 205-230, Winter.
    2. Hanel Barbara & Riphahn Regina T., 2012. "The Employment of Mothers – Recent Developments and their Determinants in East and West Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(2), pages 146-176, April.
    3. Hamish Low & Virginia Sánchez-Marcos, 2015. "Female labour market outcomes and the impact of maternity leave policies," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-22, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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