August 2015

IZA DP No. 9297: The Effectiveness of Policies that Promote Labor Force Participation of Women with Children: A Collection of National Studies

published in: Labour Economics, 2015, 36, 64-71

Numerous countries have enacted policies to promote the labor force participation of women around the years of childbearing, and unsurprisingly, many research articles have been devoted to evaluating their effectiveness. Perhaps more surprisingly, however, six such articles were submitted independently over several months to Labour Economics and subsequently made it through the normal review process. These articles are collected in the Special Section that follows. This article provides additional background to facilitate the understanding of the policies that are evaluated in the Special Section articles and, more importantly, a discussion of what can be learned from the articles as a collection. Taken together, the articles are quite informative in demonstrating how the effectiveness of policies can vary across different national contexts and how this variation itself can be usefully examined with the standard theoretical framework.