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“The Motherhood Wage Gap for Women in the United States: The Importance of College and Fertility Delay”

  • Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes

    ()

  • Jean Kimmel

    ()

One of the stylised facts from the past thirty years has been the declining rate of first births before age 30 for all women and the increase rate of first births after age 30 among women with four-year college degrees (Martin 2000). What are some of the factors behind women’s decision to postpone their childbearing? We hypothesize that the wage difference often observed between like-educated mothers and non-mothers (Waldfogel 1998) may be affected by the postponement of childbearing until after careers are fully established. We use individual-level data on women from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and find that: (a) College-educated mothers do not experience a motherhood wage penalty at all, and (b) fertility delay enhances their earnings opportunities even further.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11150-004-0978-9
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economics of the Household.

Volume (Year): 3 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (09)
Pages: 17-48

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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:3:y:2005:i:1:p:17-48
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=109451

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  1. V. Joseph Hotz & Susan Williams McElroy & Seth G. Sanders, 2005. "Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
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  3. Blackburn, McKinley L & Bloom, David E & Neumark, David, 1993. "Fertility Timing, Wages, and Human Capital," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 6(1), pages 1-30.
  4. Derek Neal, 2004. "The Measured Black-White Wage Gap among Women Is Too Small," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S1-S28, February.
  5. Suzanne Duryea & Jere R. Behrman & Miguel Székely, 1999. "Decomposing Fertility Differences across World Regions and over Time: Is Improved Health More Important than Women's Schooling?," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6816, Inter-American Development Bank.
  6. Deborah J. Anderson & Melissa Binder & Kate Krause, 2003. "The Motherhood Wage Penalty Revisited: Experience, Heterogeneity, Work Effort, and Work-Schedule Flexibility," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(2), pages 273-294, January.
  7. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S33-58, January.
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  13. Iyigun, Murat F., 2000. "Timing of childbearing and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 255-269, February.
  14. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "Why Do Women Wait? Matching, Wage Inequality, and the Incentives for Fertility Delay," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 815-855, October.
  15. Charles H. Mullin & Ping Wang, 2002. "The Timing of Childbearing among Heterogeneous Women in Dynamic General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 9231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Drolet, Marie, 2002. "Wives, Mothers and Wages: Does Timing Matter?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002186e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  17. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1990. "Marriage, Motherhood, and Wages," NBER Working Papers 3473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Amalia Miller, 2011. "The effects of motherhood timing on career path," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 1071-1100, July.
  19. Siv Gustafsson, 2001. "Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247.
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