Public Policies and Women's Employment after Childbearing

48 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2009

See all articles by WenJui Han

WenJui Han

Columbia University - School of Social Work

Christopher J. Ruhm

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jane Waldfogel

Columbia University - School of Social Work

Elizabeth Washbrook

University of Bristol

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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.

Keywords: public policies, maternal employment, childbearing

JEL Classification: J13, J18, J22

Suggested Citation

Han, WenJui and Ruhm, Christopher J. and Waldfogel, Jane and Washbrook, Elizabeth, Public Policies and Women's Employment after Childbearing. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3937. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1329575

WenJui Han (Contact Author)

Columbia University - School of Social Work ( email )

622 W. 113th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

Christopher J. Ruhm

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy ( email )

235 McCormick Rd.
P.O. Box 400893
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4893
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434-924-7581 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://batten.virginia.edu/cruhm.html

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Jane Waldfogel

Columbia University - School of Social Work ( email )

622 W. 113th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

Elizabeth Washbrook

University of Bristol

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

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