Long-Run Effects of Incentivizing Work After Childbirth

May 2020

Elira Kuka (George Washington University, IZA, and NBER) and Na’ama Shenhav (Dartmouth College and NBER)

IIEP working paper 2020-10

Abstract: This paper uses a panel of SSA earnings linked to the CPS to estimate the impact of increasing post-childbirth work incentives on mothers’ long-run career trajectories. We implement a novel research design that exploits variation in the timing of the 1993 reform of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) around a woman’s first birth and in eligibility for the credit. We find that single mothers exposed to the expansion immediately after a first birth (“early-exposed”) have 3 to 4 p.p. higher employment in the 5 years after a first birth than single mothers exposed 3 to 6 years after a first birth (“late-exposed”). Ten to nineteen years after a first birth, early-exposed mothers have the same employment and hours as late-exposed mothers, but have accrued 0.5 to 0.6 more years of work experience and have 6 percent higher earnings. Incorporating long-run effects on EITC benefits and earnings increases the implied marginal value of public funds (MVPF) of the expansion. Our results suggest that there are steep returns to work incentives at childbirth that accumulate over the life-cycle.


JEL Codes: J16, J31, H2

Key Words: child penalty, EITC

Divorce among European and Mexican Immigrants in the U.S

August 2019

Barry Chiswick and Christina Houseworth

IIEP working paper 2019-12

Abstract: This paper analyzes the status of being currently divorced among European and Mexican immigrants in the U.S., among themselves and in comparison to the native born of the same ancestries. The data are for males and females age 18 to 55, who married only once, in the 2010-2014 American Community Surveys.

Among immigrants, better job opportunities, measured by educational attainment, English proficiency and a longer duration in the U.S. are associated with a higher probability of being divorced. Those who married prior to migration and who first married at an older age are less likely to be divorced. Those who live in states with a higher divorce rate are more likely to be divorced. Thus, currently being divorced among immigrants is more likely for those who are better positioned in the labor market, less closely connected to their ethnic origins, and among Mexican immigrants who live in an environment in which divorce is more prevalent.

Key Words: Marriage, Divorce, Minorities, Immigrants, Gender, Human Capital

JEL Codes: J12, J15, J16, J24

A mHealth Voice Messaging Intervention to Improve Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices in Senegal

February 2019

Shauna Downs, Jessica Fanzo, Jozefina Kalaj, Joachim Sackey, and Stephen C. Smith

IIEP Working Paper 2019-6

Abstract: Mobile health (mHealth) interventions have the potential to improve infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices; however, gaps in the literature remain regarding their design, implementation and effectiveness. The aims of this study were to: design a mHealth voice messaging intervention delivered to mothers and fathers targeting IYCF practices and examine its implementation and impact in households with children 6-23 months in three rural villages in Senegal. We conducted focus groups (n=6) to inform the intervention development. We then conducted a pilot study (n=47 households) to examine the impact of the intervention on IYCF practices of children 6-23 months. Voice messages were sent to the children’s mothers and fathers over a period of four weeks (2 messages/week; 8 messages in total), and 24-hour dietary recalls and food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) were conducted before and immediately after the implementation of the mHealth intervention to examine its impact on IYCF practices. Overall, 3 of the 8 behaviors increased and one decreased. There was a significant increase in the number of children that consumed fish (60% vs 94%; p=0.008) as measured by the 24-hour recall after the completion of the intervention. We also found significantly higher frequency of egg (p=0.026), fish (p=0.004) and thick porridge (p=0.002) consumption in the previous 7-days measured by the FFQ. Our findings suggest that voice messaging IYCF interventions in Senegal have the potential to improve IYCF behaviors among young children in the short term. Future research should entail scaling-up the intervention and examining its sustainability over the long-term.

JEL Classification: I15, O15; Q12

Keywords: Infant and young child feeding, mHealth, behavior change communication, nutrition, horticulture, farming groups

How Sustainable Are Benefits from Extension for Smallholder Farmers? Evidence from a Randomised Phase-Out of the BRAC Program in Uganda

January 2017

by Stephen C. Smith (George Washington University), Vida Bobić (George Washington University), Ram Fishman (Tel Aviv University), & Munshi Sulaiman (Save the Children)

IIEP Working Paper 2017-1

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