Alexander Willen, NHH

Postpartum Job Loss: Transitory Effect on Mothers, Long-run Damage to Children


he first year after childbirth involves dramatic changes to parents’ lives and is crucial for children’s development. Using plausibly exogenous job loss from mass layoffs, we studythe effect of labor shocks on mothers and children. Mothers displaced in the first postpartum year experience significantly larger negative effects than mothers displaced in non-birth years. No such effects are present among fathers. Additionally, we find long-lasting harm to children’s educational outcomes.These effects do not extend to children who experience maternal job loss later in life or who experience paternal job loss.Examining potential mechanisms suggest effects are driven by maternal stress.

Alexander Willén joined the Norwegian School of Economics in 2018 as a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Economics. He holds a Ph.D. in Policy Analysis from Cornell University, a MPP in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a BA from Durham University. His research focuses on topics in education economics, labor economics and public economics.

You can read more about Alexander Willén and his research here

CEBI contact: Meltem Daysal