Cover: Do Women's Early Work Commitment and Welfare Attitudes Predict Employment After Childbirth?

Do Women's Early Work Commitment and Welfare Attitudes Predict Employment After Childbirth?

Published 1994

by Lisa Greenwell, Arleen Leibowitz, Jacob Alex Klerman

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This Draft examines women's subjective work commitment in adolescence, and how this commitment relates to women's objective employment status a year after their first childbirth. The authors also examine whether or not there is evidence of a "culture of dependence;" specifically, whether having a welfare background affects women's work commitment, or whether either having a welfare background or early willingness to use welfare affects women's later employment. Applying logistic and OLS regression to National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data from women who had a first childbirth between 1980 and 1986, the authors find that willingness to combine family and work, and other early background and social psychological characteristics, predict employment after childbirth. Though having a welfare background lessens the chance of employment after childbirth, this does not appear to occur through the formation of attitudes about work or welfare. This provides evidence against the "culture of dependence" model.

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