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The Occupation, Marriage, and Fertility Choices of Women: A Life-Cycle Model

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  • Bing Ma

    ()
    (UMBC)

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Abstract

An extensive literature in labor economics recognizes that the life-cycle labor force participation of a woman is highly associated with her family choices. There is, however, virtually no study going further to incorporate female occupational choices. This paper attempts to fill this gap in labor supply literature by examining the interrelatedness of occupation, marital status and fertility choices of women over the life cycle. A discrete choice dynamic utility maximization model is constructed to investigate how relevant determinants influence a woman’s career and family path and how these decisions interplay with each other. Using longitudinal data on women from the 1979 youth cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, I estimate my model through the maximum likelihood estimation method in a dynamic programming fashion which takes into account the uncertainties from random arrivals of job opportunities, unexpected failure of birth control and temporary shocks to family earnings. The estimation results of structural parameters indicate that women’s lifecycle patterns of occupation, marriage and contraceptive behaviors vary significantly with their observable characteristics such as age, education, ability, race, and the presence of young children.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UMBC Department of Economics in its series UMBC Economics Department Working Papers with number 10-123.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 15 Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:umb:econwp:10123

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Related research

Keywords: Human Capital; Occupational Choice; Life Cycle Model; Marriage; Fertility.;

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  1. de Beyer, J & Knight, J B, 1989. "The Role of Occupation in the Determination of Wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 595-618, July.
  2. Del Boca, Daniela, 2002. "The Effect of Child Care and Part Time Opportunities on Participation and Fertility Decisions in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 427, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Van Der Klaauw, W., 1993. "Female Labor Supply and Marital Status Decisions: A Life Cycle Model," Working Papers 93-23, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. Berkovec, James & Stern, Steven, 1991. "Job Exit Behavior of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 189-210, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Marcus Klemm, 2012. "Job Security and Fertility: Evidence from German Reunification," Ruhr Economic Papers 0379, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Francesca Marchetta & David Sahn, 2012. "The role of education and family background in marriage, childbearing and labor market participation in Senegal," Working Papers halshs-00717813, HAL.

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