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Postpartum Job Loss: Transitory Effect on Mothers, Long-run Damage to Children

Barton Willage and Alexander Willén

European Economic Review, 2022, vol. 150, issue C

Abstract: The first year after childbirth involves dramatic changes to parents’ lives and is crucial for children's development. Using plausibly exogenous job loss from mass layoffs and establishment closures, we provide novel evidence on the effect of adverse shocks in the first postpartum year on mothers and children. Our results reveal that effects of adverse labor shocks among females are significantly larger in the first postpartum year. No such differential effects are present among males. Additionally, we find long-lasting harm to children's educational outcomes 15 years after the displacement event took place. The child effects are not present among those who experience paternal labor shocks. To better understand these results, we investigate several potential mechanisms, including income, mobility, spousal labor supply responses, fertility, and marital dissolution.

Keywords: Job Loss; Maternal Labor Supply; Education; Early Childhood; Fertility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 I24 J13 J16 J24 J63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2022.104287

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European Economic Review is currently edited by T.S. Eicher, A. Imrohoroglu, E. Leeper, J. Oechssler and M. Pesendorfer

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