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EASING THE CONSTRAINTS OF MOTHERHOOD: THE EFFECTS OF ALL‐DAY SCHOOLS ON MOTHERS' LABOR SUPPLY

María Padilla‐Romo and Francisco Cabrera‐Hernández

Economic Inquiry, 2019, vol. 57, issue 2, 890-909

Abstract: Low rates of female labor force participation (LFP) have been linked to the absence of childcare policies. This article examines the degree to which extending the school day by 3.5 hours in elementary schools, a large implicit childcare subsidy, affects LFP, the number of weekly hours worked, and the monthly earnings of females with elementary‐school‐age children. To do so, we exploit within‐individual variation in access to full‐time schools and a rotating panel of households that contains 12 years of individual‐level data on labor outcomes and sociodemographic characteristics. Results from long‐difference models show that extending the school day increases mothers' labor supply, increasing LFP by 5.5 percentage points and the number of weekly hours worked by 1.8. Moreover, these increases are accompanied by a raise in monthly earnings. (JEL I25, J13, J22)

Date: 2019
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