IZA DP No. 7254: The Labor Market Behavior of Married Women with Young Children in the U.S.: Have Differences by Religion Disappeared?
published in Keister, L. and Sherkat, D. (eds.): Religion and Inequality in America - Research and Theory on Religion's Role in Stratification. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Using data from the 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth, conducted in the United States, we study the role of religious affiliation and participation in the labor supply behavior of non-Hispanic married women with young children. We estimate ordered probit models with a trichotomous dependent variable indicating full-time employment, part-time employment or non-employment. We find that the labor market decisions of Catholic women are not significantly different from those of their mainline Protestant counterparts, and that women affiliated with conservative Protestant denominations continue to stand out for their low levels of labor market attachment. With regard to religious participation, we find a non-linear association: the probability of non-employment is high both among women who have zero attendance at religious services and among those who attend more than once a week - the latter especially. Reasons for these non-linearities are explored. Our results suggest that future research on relationships between religious participation and various economic and demographic outcomes should be based on models that allow for non-linearities and also for differences in the effects of religious participation by religious affiliation.