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Why Do Women Wait? Matching, Wage Inequality, and the Incentives for Fertility Delay

  • Elizabeth M. Caucutt

    (University of Rochester)

  • Nezih Guner

    (Pennsylvania State University)

  • John Knowles

    (University of Pennsylvania)

This paper explores the interaction between wage inequality and the marriage and fertility decisions of young women. We develop an equilibrium search model of marriage, divorce, and investment in children that allows for differential timing of fertility. We show how patterns of fertility timing in U.S. data can be explained by the incentives for fertility delay implied by marriage and labor markets. We find that these incentives help explain both the cross-sectional relationship between women's wages and fertility timing and the changes over the past 40 years in married women's fertility timing and labor supply. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/redy.2002.0190
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 815-855

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:5:y:2002:i:4:p:815-855
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  1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S11-S26, Part II, .
  2. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & and John Knowles, 1999. "More on marriage, fertility, and the distribution of income," Working Paper 9904, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. Joseph Hotz, V. & Klerman, Jacob Alex & Willis, Robert J., 1993. "The economics of fertility in developed countries," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 275-347 Elsevier.
  4. Lillard, L.A. & Waite, L.J., 1993. "A Joint Model of Marital Childbearing and Marital Disruption," Papers 93-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  5. Gunderson, Morley, 1989. "Male-Female Wage Differentials and Policy Responses," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 46-72, March.
  6. Browning, Martin, 1992. "Children and Household Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1434-75, September.
  7. V. Joseph Hotz & Robert A. Miller, . "An Empirical Analysis of Life Cycle Fertility and Female Labor Supply," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 86-15, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  8. Moffitt, Robert, 1984. "The Estimation of a Joint Wage-Hours Labor Supply Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 550-66, October.
  9. Andrés Erosa & Luisa Fuster & Diego Restuccia, 2002. "Fertility Decisions and Gender Differences in Labor Turnover, Employment, and Wages," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 856-891, October.
  10. Juan Carlos Conesa, 2002. "Educational attainment and timing of fertility decisions," Working Papers in Economics 78, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  11. Luis Rubalcava & Duncan Thomas, 2000. "Family Bargaining and Welfare," Working Papers 00-10, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  12. Altug, Sumru & Miller, Robert A, 1998. "The Effect of Work Experience on Female Wages and Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 45-85, January.
  13. Eckstein, Zvi & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1989. "Dynamic Labour Force Participation of Married Women and Endogenous Work Experience," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 375-90, July.
  14. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy, 1998. "Household Labor Supply, Sharing Rule and the Marriage Market," Cahiers de recherche 9810, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
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