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A structural explanation of recent changes in life-cycle labor supply and fertility behavior of married women in the United States

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  • Park, Seonyoung

Abstract

This study documents and explains important changes in the life-cycle labor supply and fertility behavior of married women in the United States from the 1950s to more recent cohorts. The younger cohorts, relative to the 1950s, supply more labor at earlier stages of the life-cycle, delay motherhood to later stages without reducing the fertility rate, and upon childbearing, show a greater tendency to stay out of the labor force. In a life-cycle model for married couples in which a household makes decisions on fertility as well as labor supply, consumption, and savings, all the behavioral changes are jointly and quantitatively explained by a combination of changes in various labor supply/fertility determinants, with the increased returns (penalties) to work (non-work) experience being the dominant contributor. The results survive a series of robustness tests, including endogenizing education choice and assortative marriage.

Suggested Citation

  • Park, Seonyoung, 2018. "A structural explanation of recent changes in life-cycle labor supply and fertility behavior of married women in the United States," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 129-168.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:129-168
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2017.11.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hwang, Jisoo & Park, Seonyoung & Shin, Donggyun, 2018. "Two birds with one stone: Female labor supply, fertility, and market childcare," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 171-193.
    2. Mihaela Preda & Alina Mareci & Anca Tudoricu & Ana-Maria Taloș & Elena Bogan & Ana Irina Lequeux-Dincă & Iuliana Vijulie, 2020. "Defining the Concept of Family through the Lens of Fertile-Aged Women in Bucharest, Romania—between Traditionalism and Inclusion," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(7), pages 1-19, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cohort; Fertility; Labor Supply; Recent Decline; Returns to Experience;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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