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To Work or Not to Work: The Economics of a Mother's Dilemma

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Working Paper Series 2011-02

35 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2011  

Julie L. Hotchkiss

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Georgia State University - Department of Economics

M. Melinda Pitts

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

MaryBeth Beth Walker

Georgia State University

Date Written: March 2011

Abstract

Utilizing linked vital statistics, administrative employer, and state welfare records, the analysis in this paper investigates the determinants of a woman's intermittent labor force decision at the time of a major life event: the birth of a child. The results indicate that both direct and opportunity labor market costs of exiting the workforce figure significantly into that decision. Further, the analysis reveals the importance of including information about the mother's prebirth job when making inferences about the role various demographics play in the intermittent labor force decision.

Keywords: labor supply behavior, intermittent, labor market exit, labor leisure choice model

JEL Classification: J22, J13, J17, D01, D91

Suggested Citation

Hotchkiss, Julie L. and Pitts, M. Melinda and Walker, MaryBeth Beth, To Work or Not to Work: The Economics of a Mother's Dilemma (March 2011). Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Working Paper Series 2011-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1800262 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1800262

Julie L. Hotchkiss

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta ( email )

Research Department
1000 Peachtree Street N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309-4470
United States
404-498-8198 (Phone)
404-498-8058 (Fax)

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

M. Melinda Pitts (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta ( email )

1000 Peachtree Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30309-4470
United States
404-498-7009 (Phone)
404-498-8956 (Fax)

Mary Beth Beth Walker

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street
Atlanta, GA 30302
United States

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