NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Public Policies and Women's Employment after Childbearing

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

NBER Working Paper No. 14660
Issued in January 2009
NBER Program(s):   CH   LS   PE

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14660

Published: B E J Econom Anal Policy. 2011 July 28; 11(1): 2938. doi: 10.2202/1935-1682.2938 PMCID: PMC3769194 NIHMSID: NIHMS474288 Public Policies, Women’s Employment after Childbearing, and Child Well-Being Elizabeth Washbrook,corresponding author Christopher J. Ruhm, Jane Waldfogel, and Wen-Jui Han

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