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Children and Careers: How Family Size Affects Parents’ Labor Market Outcomes in the Long Run

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  • Sara Cools

    (Institute for Social Research)

  • Simen Markussen

    (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Marte Strøm

    (Institute for Social Research)

Abstract

We estimate the effect of family size on various measures of labor market outcomes over the whole career until retirement, using instrumental variables estimation in data from Norwegian administrative registers. Parents’ number of children is instrumented with the sex mix of their first two children. We find that having additional children causes sizable reductions in labor supply for women, which fade as children mature and even turn positive for women without a college degree. Among women with a college degree, there is evidence of persistent and even increasing career penalties of family size. Having additional children reduces these women’s probability of being employed by higher-paying firms, their earnings rank within the employing firm, and their probability of being the top earner at the workplace. Some of the career effects persist long after labor supply is restored. We find no effect of family size on any of men’s labor market outcomes in either the short or long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Sara Cools & Simen Markussen & Marte Strøm, 2017. "Children and Careers: How Family Size Affects Parents’ Labor Market Outcomes in the Long Run," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(5), pages 1773-1793, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0612-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-017-0612-0
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    6. Yijun YU & Hisaki KONO, "undated". "Fertility Policy and Gender Discrimination in the Workplace:Evidence from the Two-Child Policy Reform in China," Discussion papers e-24-001, Graduate School of Economics , Kyoto University.
    7. Schone, Pal & Strom, Marte, 2019. "International Labor Market Competition and Spousal Labor Supply Responses," IZA Discussion Papers 12857, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    11. Chu, Yu-Wei Luke & Cuffe, Harold E. & Doan, Nguyen, 2020. "Motherhood Employment Penalty and Gender Wage Gap Across Countries: 1990–2010," MPRA Paper 99866, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    15. Chu, Yu-Wei Luke & Cuffe, Harold E & Doan, Nguyen, 2021. "Motherhood Employment Penalty and Gender Wage Gap Across Countries: 1990–2010," Working Paper Series 9446, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
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    21. Voit, Falk A. C., 2023. "Adverse birth outcomes and parental labor market participation after birth," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-710, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
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    23. Hal Caswell, 2020. "The formal demography of kinship II: Multistate models, parity, and sibship," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 42(38), pages 1097-1146.

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