Public Policies, Women’s Employment after Childbearing, and Child Well-Being

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

21 Citations (Scopus)
198 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we consider three U.S. public policies that potentially influence the work decisions of mothers of infants—parental leave laws, exemptions from welfare work requirements, and child care subsidies for low-income families. We estimate the effects of these policies on the timing of work participation after birth, and on a range of outcomes in the subsequent four years, using a group difference-in-difference technique suitable for analysis of cross-sectional data. We find that the three policies affect early maternal work participation, but obtain no evidence of significant consequences for child well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Article number43
Pages (from-to)1 - 48
Number of pages48
JournalBE Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Other identifier: Issue 1 (Topics), Article 43
The final publication is available at

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