Effects of birth spacing and timing on mothers' labor force participation

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Date of Original Version



Data from the March 1991 Current Population Survey [Bureau of the Census, 1992] were used to investigate the effects of children on single and married mothers' labor force participation decisions. Logit results indicated that for both single and married mothers, an increase in education and market experience increases the probability of market participation while an increase in income has a negative effect on the likelihood of mothers' labor market participation. The number of children present in the household negatively affected participation while an increase in the age of children positively influenced the mother's labor market participation. The spacing effect in the married group and the timing effect in the single group were significant. Furthermore, an increase in the number of older children in the household (between the ages of 12 and 17 years) increased the probability of labor market participation by single mothers but decreased that of married mothers.

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Atlantic Economic Journal