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The Mom Effect: Family Proximity and the Labour Force Status of Women in Canada

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  • admin, clsrn

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the effect of family co-residence and proximity on the labour force participation and working hours of Canadian women. Using Cycle 21 of the Canadian General Social Survey, we describe proximity patterns in Canada and show that the labour force attachment of women is related to the proximity of their mothers. Lower labour market attachment is found for married women without young children who co-reside with their mothers (those women most likely to care for their elderly mothers) and for married women with young children who live more than half a day away from their mothers (those women least likely to benefit from the availability of family provided childcare). On the intensive margin, both married and single women with children work fewer hours if they live far from their mothers. The results hold only for proximity to living mothers (as opposed to proximity to widowed fathers), suggesting that it is the mothers themselves, and not merely the home location, that drives the results. The results are consistent in IV estimations. To the extent that the positive effect of close proximity is related to the availability of grandchild care, policies that impact the labour force behaviour of grandmothers may also impact the labour force behaviour of their daughters. Moreover, the regional patterns in proximity suggest that national childcare and labour market policies may yield different results across the country.

Suggested Citation

  • admin, clsrn, 2011. "The Mom Effect: Family Proximity and the Labour Force Status of Women in Canada," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-30, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2011-30
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    File URL: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%2087%20-%20Compton.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Helmut Rainer & Thomas Siedler, 2009. "O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Effects of Having a Sibling on Geographic Mobility and Labour Market Outcomes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(303), pages 528-556, July.
    2. Kai A. Konrad & Harald Künemund & Kjell Erik Lommerud & Julio R. Robledo, 2002. "Geography of the Family," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 981-998, September.
    3. Pascal Belan & Pierre-Jean Messe & François-Charles Wolff, 2010. "Postponing retirement age and labor force participation: the role of family transfers," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 76(4), pages 347-370.
    4. Compton, Janice & Pollak, Robert A., 2014. "Family proximity, childcare, and women’s labor force attachment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 72-90.
    5. Ralitza Dimova & François-Charles Wolff, 2011. "Do downward private transfers enhance maternal labor supply? Evidence from around Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 911-933, July.
    6. Janice Compton & Robert A. Pollak, 2009. "Proximity and Coresidence of Adult Children and their Parents: Description and Correlates," Working Papers wp215, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Women’s labour supply; Family proximity; Childcare;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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