Big Changes in the Impact of Childcare on Working Women
By Bryce Covert, Next New Deal Editor
The standard logic goes as follows. Woman gets pregnant. Woman takes time off for pregnancy. Woman finds out how high the cost of childcare is, or how hard it is to leave a child, and drops out of her job within the first year of her child’s life. This logic assumed that very young children pushed women out of the labor force. And it was right—that is, up until recently.
Last week I wrote about some new evidence that some women do in fact opt out of the labor force. The study shows that a significant percentage of college-educated women whose husbands make more money have the urge to leave their careers. I speculated that while this is clearly about the gender wage gap, it may also be about childcare duties. After all, many couples still assume that only a wife’s, and not a husband’s, income goes toward paying for someone to watch the little one.