This paper examines a woman's decisions about when to return to market work in the two years following childbirth and the type of child care she chooses. Own wages relate positively to an early return to work, while higher family income delays return to work. Wages and income did not significantly affect choice of market versus nonmarket child care. Greater child care tax credits increased early return to work (within three months) but had little effect on later labor supply. Contrary to expectations, tax credits did not affect child care choice, but predicted early market reentry.
Originally published in: Journal of Human Resources, v. 27, no. 1, Winter 1992, pp. 112-133.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.