Any house wives

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By contrast, close observers of American family life may think stay-at-home moms are more common among the poor. It turns out they are both right, according to a new Institute for Family Studies analysis of the American Community Survey.

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Among mothers married to husbands who work full-time and year-round—the population most likely to have the option of staying home—there is a U-shaped curve between a mother's chances of being out of the labor force and her husband's earned income.

That is, the real housewives of America are most likely to be found among women married to men earning just a little or quite a lot. A couple of factors are at play. When children are in the picture, the high childcare costs often outweigh that potential second income. For these couples, it often makes more financial sensegiven high childcare costs and her low potential earnings, to have someone stay at home, usually mom. But on the other hand, higher-income men tend to marry women with higher education and higher earnings.

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For these mothers, opting out of the workforce carries a higher opportunity cost. Of course, we are only talking about raising children in economic terms here. Moreover, in an age of helicopter parenting, raising children often feels like more than a full-time job today. It is no surprise that some women may want to or feel like they need to trade their professional jobs for a full-time unpaid job at home. One way of testing this is to look at the impact of education on the married mothers in our sample because education is a rough proxy for earning capacity.

And what makes this complicated is that it really is the case that higher-earning d have higher-educated wives.

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So, the education dynamic may straighten out the curve somewhat for more educated women. We wouldn't expect to fully straighten out the curve by ing for this, because assortative mating happens within educational as well. For instance, Ivy League gr are disproportionately likely to marry other Ivy League gr, not just to marry college gr in general.

But we should expect the left-hand side of the shape to be less pronounced when women are separated by education. Indeed, that is what we see. A point drop in labor-force opting-out among married mothers in our initial chart is cut down by half or more within educational. This theory, then, is a good fit for the data and makes a great deal of intuitive sense. Further, our are strikingly similar when the same analyses are run on the ACS instead of the ACS, suggesting that these patterns are reasonably stable over the short run.

To be sure, there is a difference between a commonsensical theory consistent with the facts and an ironclad causal inference. There are other ways to interpret these findings, some of which are probably another part of the story and deserve further exploration.

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There may be a selection effect in which higher-earning men seek out women willing to stay home, for example, or differences in values among women of different skill levels. In workWang found that lower-income women are more likely to say their ideal arrangement would be to work full time. Having children is a major life-changing event for both men and women.

And priorities in life can also change because of parenthood. And more than one-in-five married mothers prefer not to work for pay at all. Overall, mothers are more likely than non-mothers to express a stronger desire to either work part time or not at all, regardless of their marital status. Nevertheless, they are broadly consistent with what surveys found. In fact, among women without children under age 18 at home, married women are more likely than unmarried women to work full-time. This could be because highly-educated women today are more likely than their less-educated peers to marry, and also more likely to work full time.

However, parenthood still matters. Married mothers are more likely to be out of the labor force than other women. Mothers are much more likely to work full-time when their children are older. It is not surprising to see that mothers of children ages 0 to 3 are the group who are most likely to stay at home. Children at this age demand an enormous amount of parental care, and it is very expensive to outsource this job. Given current costs, for many parents not only mothersstaying at home makes more economic sense. In the end, what we see in the data is that different families divide work and family responsibilities in different ways—sometimes because of how much money a spouse is bringing in, sometimes because of the cost of child care, and sometimes simply because different people value different things.

Wendy Wang, Ph. Download a copy of this research brief here. A logistic regression predicting the labor-force participation of the wives in our sample is consistent with this story as well. The survey was conducted on Sep, with a nationally representative sample of 2, adults ages in the U. Interested in learning more about the work of the Institute for Family Studies? Please feel free to by using your preferred method detailed below. For media inquiries, contact Michael Toscano michael ifstudies. We encourage members of the media interested in learning more about the people and projects behind the work of the Institute for Family Studies to get started by perusing our "Media Kit" materials.

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Thanks for your interest in supporting the work of The Institute for Family Studies. Please mail support checks to the address below:. The Institute for Family Studies P. Box Charlottesville, VA If you would like to donate online, please click the button below to be taken to our donation form:.

IFS on Patreon. The Institute for Family Studies is a c 3 organization. Your donation will be tax-deductible.

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Highlights Print Post. Related Posts. MenPolitics. MenEducation. FertilityResearch Brief. Family LifePolitics. A Table for One by Jeremy S. Family Life. WomenWork-Family. First Name. Last Name. Address. Institute for Family Studies P. Box Charlottesville, VA michael ifstudies. Contact Interested in learning more about the work of the Institute for Family Studies?

Mailing Address: P. Box Charlottesville, VA info ifstudies. Media Inquiries For media inquiries, contact Michael Toscano michael ifstudies. Media Kit. Box Charlottesville, VA If you would like to donate online, please click the button below to be taken to our donation form: Donate You can also support us on Patreon via the button below: IFS on Patreon The Institute for Family Studies is a c 3 organization.

Any house wives

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