Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2014:5: From giving birth to paid labor: the effects of adult education for prime-aged mothers

Annette Bergemann () and Gerard J. van den Berg ()
Additional contact information
Annette Bergemann: Department of Economics, Mannheim University, Postal: Germany
Gerard J. van den Berg: IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, Postal: P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: Women without work after childbirth are at risk of losing their connection to the labor market. However, they may participate in adult education programs. We analyze the effect of this on the duration to work and on the wage rate, by applying conditional difference-in-differences approaches. We use Swedish matched longitudinal register data sets covering the full population. The Swedish adult education program is unprecedented in its size, and enrollment is universally available at virtually no cost. We focus on low-skilled women who have recently given birth. We take account of program accessibility, selection issues, course heterogeneity, the income received during adult education, parental leave, and child care fees. Adult education shows positive effects for the unemployed with respect to both the employment probability and wages. To explain the actual program participation rate, we model the enrollment decision from the mothers´ point of view, using the estimates to calibrate a job search model. We conclude that non-pecuniary factors cause mothers non to enter adult education.

Keywords: Evaluation of adult education; job search model; female labor supply; wages; participation; unemployment; schooling; conditional difference-in-differences

JEL-codes: C14; H43; J24; J64; J68

67 pages, February 25, 2014

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