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December 09, 2005

Mothers' Labor Force Participation

Dean Baker says that Heather Boushey believes that the fall in labor force participation since 2000 is not, repeat not, due to a cultural shift making mothers more likely to stay home with their kids:

MaxSpeak, You Listen!: MOTHERS OPTING OUT OF WORK: BUSH MYTH # 96742 : One popular explanation for the weak employment growth of the last five years is that mothers are increasingly opting out of the labor force. The argument is that in a post-9-11 world, people have come to recognize that family is what really matters. Therefore, women now want to be at home with their kids rather than pursuing a career. The evidence to support this view usually amounts to accounts of the experiences of a few friends or neighbors.

My colleague, Heather Boushey, decided to examine the data, and says it ain't so... the impact of motherhood on labor force participation is actually lower today than it was five years ago. You can read the paper on the CEPR http://cepr.net website...

Posted by DeLong at December 9, 2005 09:57 AM