Multiple Agendas? How Women's Reasons for Employment Exits Affect Their Return to Work

Anne Kaduk, University of Minnesota

This paper examines how women’s reasons for job exit, motherhood status, and education affect the probability and timing of their return to work. Women’s exits have been studied widely, yet little is known about who returns to work. But returning to work likely has important consequences for the well-being of women and their families. Using data on 8,843 person-spells of non-employment lasting three months or more in the NLSY79, I find that most women who experience a spell of non-employment eventually return to work, but the timing varies. Women with any college are more likely to return to employment quickly than those with twelve years or less of completed education if they left via job displacement or other involuntary job loss, but they spend more time not employed if they left because of a new child. New mothers remain non-employed longer than other groups, regardless of reason for exit.

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 Presented in Session P8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, and Inequality/Gender, Race and Ethnicity