NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Elizabeth Washbrook

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Working Papers

January 2009Public Policies and Women's Employment after Childbearing
with Wen-Jui Han, Christopher Ruhm, Jane Waldfogel: w14660
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.

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