IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ebl/ecbull/eb-12-00364.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How children affect women's labor market outcomes: estimates from using miscarriage as a natural experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Xia Li

    () (School of Economics, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics)

Abstract

In this study, I empirically estimate the impact of children on women's labor market outcomes (such as work status, work hours and earnings). The identification in a female labor supply model where the fertility is endogenous comes from the assumption that a miscarriage – spontaneous loss of the pregnancy – occurs mostly randomly. Medical research in general provides supportive evidence for this assumption. One advantage of using the occurrence of a miscarriage to estimate the impact of children is that it allows one to estimate the impact of a first child versus no children at all, which is not possible when using other natural experiments such as twin births or the gender combination of the first two children. An instrumental variable based on the outcome of the first pregnancy is constructed and is used to estimate the coefficient of the endogenous fertility variable. The result shows that in general children have a modest negative impact on women's labor supply. It also shows that the IV estimates tend to be smaller in scale than the OLS estimates using the same data, which suggests it is indeed important to address the problem of endogenous fertility when estimating a female labor supply model.

Suggested Citation

  • Xia Li, 2012. "How children affect women's labor market outcomes: estimates from using miscarriage as a natural experiment," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 2908-2920.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-12-00364
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2012/Volume32/EB-12-V32-I4-P280.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Female Labor Supply; Fertility; Instrumental Variable; Natural Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-12-00364. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (John P. Conley). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.