Date of Award

May 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Stuart S. Rosenthal

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


This dissertation comprises three papers on spatial features of labor markets and links to the housing market. The first two papers look at how a local parental leave policy and the neighborhood in which one resides can influence women's decision to work. One paper shows that New Jersey's 2009 family leave insurance program induces women to remain employed following childbirth. The other reveals that, for women, having other women with similar aged children to yours among your closest neighbors makes you emulate their work behavior. The final paper analyzes how seasonality in occupational employment via either monthly or business-cycle induced fluctuations to labor demand increases the likelihood of holding a home equity line of credit. This finding is consistent with individuals drawing on these credit lines to access stored home equity in order to smooth consumption in the face of short-term breaks to employment.


Open Access