Advertisement

Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 729–746 | Cite as

Labor Force Attachment and Maternity Leave Usage of Cohabiting Mothers in the United States

  • Samantha Marie SchenckEmail author
Original Paper
  • 125 Downloads

Abstract

This paper studies the labor supply decisions of new mothers in cohabiting relationships in the United States. Using cross-sectional data from the 1997 Cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth as well as from the March Current Population Survey Annual Demographic Supplement, this paper analyzes how the birth of a child impacts a mother’s labor supply. Different subgroups of women based on relationship status are analyzed and compared. Both cross-sectional analyses show that new mothers in cohabiting households behave differently than their married counterparts when it comes to their labor supply after the birth of a child, taking significantly shorter leaves and working more hours in the year of birth. The results also suggest that their partner’s income is not a significant factor in determining their labor supply, which differs from married mothers. This research gives us important insights into the economic decision-making behavior of these nontraditional households.

Keywords

Labor supply Economics of the family Marriage Motherhood Maternity leave Cohabitation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Carlos Liard-Muriente, M.V. Lee Badgett, Marta Murray-Close, and Joya Misra for helpful comments and encouragement. I would also like to thank the participants of the panels at the 2017 IAES and 2018 EEA conferences for their constructive input and suggestions.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Samantha Marie Schenck declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

References

  1. Abroms, L. C., & Goldscheider, F. K. (2002). More work for mother: How spouses, cohabiting partners and relatives affect the hours mothers work. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 23(2), 47–166.  https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1015786600645.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55(5), 469–480.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0003-066x.55.5.469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baker, M., & Milligan, K. (2008). Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates. Journal of Health Economics, 27(4), 871–887.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2008.02.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barg, K., & Beblo, M. (2012). Does “sorting into specialization” explain the differences in time use between married and cohabiting couples? An empirical application for Germany. Annals of Economics and Statistics, 105(106), 127–152.  https://doi.org/10.2307/23646459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker, G. S. (1982). Treatise on the family. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Becker, G. S. (1985). Human capital, effort, and the sexual division of labor. Journal of Labor Economics, 3(1), s33–s58.  https://doi.org/10.1086/298075.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Berger, L. M., Hill, J., & Waldfogel, J. (2005). Maternity leave, early maternal employment and child health and development in the US. Economic Journal, 115(501), F29–F47.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0013-0133.2005.00971.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berger, L. M., & Waldfogel, J. (2004). Maternity leave and the employment of new mothers in the United States. Journal of Population Economics, 17(2), 331–349.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00148-003-0159-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bianchi, S. M. (2011). Family change and time allocation in American families. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 638(1), 21–44.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716211413731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bianchi, S. M., Lesnard, L., Nazio, T., & Raley, S. (2014). Gender and time allocation of cohabiting and married women and men in France, Italy, and the United States. Demographic Research, 31(8), 183–216.  https://doi.org/10.4054/DemRes.2014.31.8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bowman, C. G. (2004). Legal treatment of cohabitation in the United States. Law and Policy, 26(1), 119–151.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0265-8240.2004.00165.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bowman, C. G. (2010). Unmarried couples, law, and public policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Bramlett, M. D., & Mosher, W. D. (2002). Cohabitation, marriage, divorce, and remarriage in the United States. Vital Health Statistics, 23(22), 1–93.  https://doi.org/10.1037/e372462004-001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brien, M. J., Lillard, L. A., & Stern, S. (2006). Cohabitation, marriage, and divorce in a model of match quality. International Economic Review, 47(2), 451–494.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2354.2006.00385.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bumpass, L., & Lu, H. H. (2000). Trends in cohabitation and implications for childrens family contexts in the United States. Population Studies, 54(1), 29–41.  https://doi.org/10.1080/713779060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bumpass, L., Sweet, J., & Cherlin, A. J. (1991). The role of cohabitation in declining rates of marriage. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 53, 913–927.  https://doi.org/10.2307/352997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Casper, L. M., & Cohen, P. N. (2000). How does POSSLQ measure up? Historical estimates of cohabitation. Demography, 37(2), 237–245.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2648125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cherlin, A. J. (2000). Toward a new home socio-economics of union formation. In L. J. Waite, C. Bachrach, M. Hindin, E. Thompson, & A. Thornton (Eds.), The ties that bind (pp. 126–144). New York: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  19. Cherlin, A. J. (2004). The deinstitutionalization of the American marriage. Journal of Marriage and Family, 66, 848–861.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-2445.2004.00058.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cherlin, A. J. (2009). The marriage-go-round. Cambridge: Vintage.Google Scholar
  21. Cherlin, A. J. (2010). Demographic trends in the United States: A review of research in the 2000s. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(3), 403–419.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00710.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Cohen, P. N. (2002). Cohabitation and the declining marriage premium for men. Work and Occupations, 29(3), 346–363.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0730888402029003004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Coverman, S. (1983). Gender, domestic labor time, and wage inequality. American Sociological Review, 48(5), 623–637.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2094923.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Desai, S., & Waite, L. J. (1991). Women’s employment during pregnancy and after the first birth: Occupational characteristics and work commitment. American Sociological Review, 56(4), 551–566.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2096274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Edin, K., & Kefalas, M. (2005). Promises I can ceep: Why poor women put motherhood before marriage. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  26. Edlund, L. (2013). The role of paternity presumption and custodial rights for understanding marriage patterns. Economica, 80(320), 650–669.  https://doi.org/10.1111/ecca.12035.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Eickmeyer, K. J., & Manning, W. D. (2018). Serial cohabitation in young adulthood: Baby boomers to millennials. Journal of Marriage and Family, 80(4), 826–840.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. England, P., & Farkas, G. (1986). Households, employment, and gender. New York: Aldine De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  29. Gemici, A., & Laufer, S. (2011). Marriage and cohabitation. Retrieved November 20, 2018 from https://economics.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Workshops-Seminars/Labor-Public/gemici-111006.pdf.
  30. Grall, T. (2013). Custodial mothers and fathers and their child support: 2011. Report prepared for the United States Census Bureau. U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved November 20, 2018 from https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2013/demo/p60-246.html.
  31. Gustafsson, S. S., Wetzels, C. M. M. P., Vlasblom, J. D., & Dex, S. (1996). Women’s labor force transitions in connection with childbirth: A panel data comparison between Germany, Sweden and Great Britain. Journal of Population Economics, 9(3), 223–246.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s001480050016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Han, W. J., Ruhm, C. J., Waldfogel, J., & Washbrook, E. (2008). The timing of mothers’ employment after childbirth. Monthly Labor Review, 131(6), 15–27.Google Scholar
  33. Heimdal, K. R., & Houseknecht, S. K. (2001). Cohabiting and married couples’ income organization: Approaches in Sweden and the United States. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65(3), 525–538.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2003.00525.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Huang, P. M., Smock, P. J., Manning, W. D., & Bergstrom-Lynch, C. A. (2011). He says, she says: Gender and cohabitation. Journal of Family Issues, 32(7), 876–905.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X10397601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kenney, C. T. (2006). The power of the purse: Allocative systems and inequality in couple households. Gender & Society, 20(3), 354–381.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0891243206286742.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kiernan, K. (2001). The rise of cohabitation and childbearing outside marriage in Western Europe. International Journal of Law, Policy the Family, 15(1), 1–21.  https://doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/15.1.1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Klerman, J. A., & Leibowitz, A. (1994). The work-employment distinction among new mothers. Journal of Human Resources, 29(2), 277–303.  https://doi.org/10.2307/146099.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Klerman, J. A., & Leibowitz, A. (1997). Labor supply effects of state maternity leave legislation. In F. Blau & R. Ehrenberg (Eds.), Gender and family issues in the workplace (pp. 65–85). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  39. Kuperberg, A. (2012). Reassesing differences in work and income in cohabitation and marriage. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74(4), 688–707.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00993.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lam, D. (1988). Mariage markets and assortative mating with household public goods: Theoretical results and empirical implications. Journal of Human Resources, 23(4), 462–487.  https://doi.org/10.2307/145809.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lehrer, E., & Nerlove, M. (1986). Female labor force behavior and fertility in the United States. Annual Review of Sociology, 12, 181–204.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.12.1.181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Leibowitz, A., Klerman, J. A., & Waite, L. J. (1992). Employment of new mothers and child care choice: Differences by children’s age. The Journal of Human Resources, 27(1), 112–133.  https://doi.org/10.2307/145914.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lundberg, S., & Pollak, R. A. (2007). The American family and family economics. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 21(2), 3–26.  https://doi.org/10.3386/w12908.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lundberg, S., Pollak, R. A., & Stearns, J. (2016). Family inequality: Diverging patterns in marriage, cohabitation, and childbearing. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 30(2), 79–101.  https://doi.org/10.1257/jep.30.2.79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Matouschek, N., & Rasul, I. (2008). The economics of the marriage contract: Theories and evidence. Journal of Law and Economics, 51(1), 51–110.  https://doi.org/10.1086/588596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mincer, J., & Polacheck, S. (1974). Family investments in human capital: Earnings of women. In T. W. Schultz (Ed.), Economics of the family: marriage, children, and human capital: A conference report of the national bureau of economic research (pp. 397–431). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  47. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. (2015). National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort, 1997–2013 (rounds 1-16). Produced by the National Opinion Research Center, the University of Chicago and distributed by the Center for Human Resource Research. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University. https://www.nlsinfo.org/. Accessed Dec 2015.
  48. Nazio, T., & Saraceno, C. (2012). Does cohabitation lead to weaker intergenerational bonds than marriage? A comparison between Italy and the United Kingdom. European Sociological Review, 29(3), 549–564.  https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcr103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. O’Connell, M., & Bloom, D. (1987). Maternity leave arrangements: 1961–85. Washington: US Bureau of the Census.Google Scholar
  50. Ondrich, J., & Spiess, C. K. (1996). Barefoot and in a German kitchen: Federal parental leave and benefit policy and the return to work after childbirth in Germany. Journal of Population Economics, 9(3), 247.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00176687.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ono, H., & Yeilding, R. (2009). Marriage, cohabitation and childcare: The US and Sweden. Social Indicators Research, 93(1), 137–140.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-008-9417-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Oppenheimer, V. K. (1997). Women’s employment and the gain to marriage: The specialization and trading model. Annual Review of Sociology, 23(1), 431–453.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.23.1.431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Osborne, C., Manning, W. D., & Smock, P. J. (2007). Married and cohabiting parents’ relationship stability: A focus on race and ethnicity. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69(5), 1345–1366.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2007.00451.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Parker, K., & Wang, W. (2013). Modern parenthood: Roles of moms and dads converge as they balance work and family. Retrieved November 29, 2018 from https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/03/14/modern-parenthood-roles-of-moms-and-dads-converge-as-they-balance-work-and-family/.
  55. Raley, R. K. (2000). Recent trends and differentials in marriage and cohabitation: The United States. In L. J. Waite (Ed.), The ties that bind: Perspectives on marriage and cohabitation. New York: Walter de Gruyter Inc.Google Scholar
  56. Ruggles, S., Flood, S., Goeken, R., Grover, J., Meyer, E., Pacas, J., & Sobek, M. (2018). IPUMS USA: Version 8.0.Google Scholar
  57. Ruhm, C. J. (2000). Parental leave and child health. Journal of health economics, 19(6), 931–960.  https://doi.org/10.3386/w6554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Ruhm, C., & Waldfogel, J. (2012). Long-term effects of early childhood care and education. Nordic Economic Policy Review, 1(1), 23–51.  https://doi.org/10.6027/9789289329873-2-en.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sayer, L. C. (2005). Gender, time and inequality: Trends in women’s and men’s paid work, unpaid work and free time. Social Forces, 84(1), 285–303.  https://doi.org/10.1353/sof.2005.0126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Shelton, B. A., & John, D. (1996). The division of household labor. Annual Review of Sociology, 22, 299–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Smock, P. J. (2000). Cohabitation in the United States: An appraisal of research themes, findings, and implications. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 1–20.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.26.1.1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Stevenson, B. (2007). The impact of divorce laws on marriage-specific capital. Journal of Labor Economics, 25(1), 75–94.  https://doi.org/10.1086/508732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Stratton, L. S. (2004). Specialization in household activities within cohabiting versus married households. IZA Working Paper.Google Scholar
  64. Waite, L. J. (1995). Does marriage matter? Demography, 32(4), 483–507.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2061670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Waite, L. J., & Gallagher, M. (2000). The case for mattiage: Why married people are happier, healthier, and better off financially. New York: Broadway Books.Google Scholar
  66. Winkler, A. E. (1997). Economic decision-making by cohabitors: findings regarding income pooling. Applied Economics, 29(8), 1079–1090.  https://doi.org/10.1080/000368497326471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economic DepartmentCentral Connecticut State UniversityNew BritainUSA

Personalised recommendations