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Childcare, Eldercare, and Labor Force Participation of Married Women in Urban China, 1982-2000

From: Journal of Human Resources
Volume 46, Number 2, Spring 2011
pp. 261-294 | 10.1353/jhr.2011.0011



We employ Chinese population census data to consider married, urban women's labor force participation decisions in the context of their families. We find that the presence in the household of a parent, parent-in-law, or person aged 75 or older increases prime-age women's likelihood of participating in market work. The presence of preschool-aged children decreases it. The negative effect on women's labor force participation of having young children in the household is substantially larger for married, rural-to-urban migrants than for their nonmigrant counterparts. Similarly, the positive effect of coresidence with elders is larger for rural-to-urban migrant women than for nonmigrants.