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 journalArticlepeer-review


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 (US)
Article number43
JournalB.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • child care subsidies
  • child outcomes
  • parental leave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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