Beliefs about Maternal Labor Supply

  • Date: Feb 22, 2023
  • Time: 11:00 AM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Teodora Boneva (University of Bonn)
  • Location: MPI
  • Room: Ground Floor

This paper provides representative evidence on the perceived returns to maternal labor supply. We design a novel survey to elicit subjective expectations and show that a mother’s decision to work is perceived to have sizable impacts on child skills, family outcomes, and the future labor market outcomes of the mother. Examining the channels through which the impacts are perceived to operate, we document that beliefs about the impact of additional household income can account for some (but not all) of the perceived positive effects. Beliefs about returns vary substantially and they are predictive of labor supply intentions under different policy scenarios related to childcare availability and quality. Consistent with intergenerational transmission playing a role in the formation of beliefs, we show that respondents whose mother worked in childhood perceive the returns to maternal labor supply as higher.

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