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February 2009

The changing impact of marriage and children on women’s labor force participation

Saul D. Hoffman

Between 1984 and 2004, the dampening effect of children on the labor force participation of 25- to 44-year-old single women disappeared, while, for married women, it fell much more slowly, especially after 1993; for married women with children younger than 3 years, the effect of those children on their mothers’ participation in 2004 was as large as it was in 1989 and greater than it was in 1993.

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