Easing the Constraints of Motherhood: The Effects of All‐Day Schools On Mothers' Labor Supply

María Padilla‐Romo, Francisco Javier Cabrera Hernández

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Low rates of female labor force participation (LFP) have been linked to the absence of childcare policies. This article examines the degree to which extending the school day by 3.5 hours in elementary schools, a large implicit childcare subsidy, affects LFP, the number of weekly hours worked, and the monthly earnings of females with elementary-school-age children. To do so, we exploit within-individual variation in access to full-time schools and a rotating panel of households that contains 12 years of individual-level data on labor outcomes and sociodemographic characteristics. Results from long-difference models show that extending the school day increases mothers' labor supply, increasing LFP by 5.5 percentage points and the number of weekly hours worked by 1.8. Moreover, these increases are accompanied by a raise in monthly earnings. (JEL I25, J13, J22).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-909
Number of pages20
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
∗We would like to thank Kitt Carpenter, Mark Hoekstra, Lars Lefgren, Jason Lindo, Jonathan Meer, Analisa Packham, Steven Puller, Zoe Sherman, Manuelita Ureta, Emily Zheng, and participants at the 2016 Southern Economic Association Conference, the Ministry of Education, the IZA Workshop: Gender and Family Economics, Miami University, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Kentucky, for useful feedback on work in progress. Padilla-Romo gratefully acknowledges support from the Private Enterprise Research Center at Texas A & University. Padilla-Romo: Assistant Professor, Department of Eco-nomics, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996. Phone 865-974-1698; 979-587-0651, E-mail mpadill3@utk.edu Cabrera-Hernández: Consultant, Interamerican Confer-ence on Social Security, Mexico City, Mexico. Phone 5215576106324, E-mail fcabrerahz@gmail.com 1. For a discussion of such influences on female labor participation in the context of the countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), see Jaumotte (2003).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Western Economic Association International

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


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