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Assessing the Smooth Rise in Mothers’ Employment as Children Age

Darren Lubotsky and Javaeria A. Qureshi

Journal of Human Capital, 2018, vol. 12, issue 4, 604 - 639

Abstract: We study the trajectory of maternal employment as children age and assess the factors underlying the smooth increase in mothers’ employment as their youngest child ages. Our results indicate that the rising employment profile is largely not associated with falling child care costs, changes in nonlabor income, or marital dissolution as children age. Differences in educational attainment and wage opportunities are related to some of the increase in employment when children are under 4 years old but do not explain any after that age. We discuss explanations for the rising pattern of mothers’ employment that might be consistent with our results.

Date: 2018
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