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(Why) Do Self-Employed Parents Have More Children?

  • Nzinga Broussard
  • Ralph Chami
  • Gregory Hess

We provide a theory whereby non-benevolent, self-employed households increase their expected family size to raise the likelihood that an inside family member will be a good match at running the business. Hence, having larger family sizes raises the self-employed household’s expected return to their business. Using data from the General Social Survey, we find that respondents have approximately .2 to .4 more actual and expected number of children if they are self-employed as compared to if they are not self-employed. This empirical relationship is established across a broad array of sub-samples using a simple differences in means test. As well, the empirical relationship holds using a regression framework, including the use of instrumental variables estimation to allow for the possibility of endogeneity of the respondent’s self-employment status and whether the respondent’s spouse stays at home.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2003/wp-cesifo-2003-12/cesifo1_wp1103.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1103.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1103
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  1. Gregory D. Hess, 2004. "Marriage and Consumption Insurance: What's Love Got to Do with It?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 290-318, April.
  2. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 485-506.
  3. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 1996. "Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 757-793.
  4. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S14-64, Part II, .
  5. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1045-76, December.
  6. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 481-501, March.
  7. Blanchflower, David G., 2000. "Self-employment in OECD countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 471-505, September.
  8. Jie Zhang & Junsen Zhang, 1997. "Fertility and Wage Rates in an Overlapping-Generations Model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(1), pages 224-34, February.
  9. Bruno S. Frey & Matthias Benz, . "Being Independent is a Great Thing: Subjective Evaluations of Self-Employment and Hierarchy," IEW - Working Papers 135, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  10. David Altig & Steve J. Davis, 1991. "The Timing of Intergenerational Transfers, Tax Policy, and Aggregate Savings," NBER Working Papers 3753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Leung, Siu Fai, 1991. "A Stochastic Dynamic Analysis of Parental Sex Preferences and Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1063-88, November.
  12. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
  13. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1985. "The Demand for and Supply of Births: Fertility and Its Life Cycle Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 992-1015, December.
  14. Ralph Chami & Gregory Hess, 2005. "For Better or For Worse? State-Level Marital Formation and Risk Sharing," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 367-385, December.
  15. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
  16. Chris Robinson & Nigel Tomes, 1982. "Family Labour Supply and Fertility: A Two-Regime Model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 706-34, November.
  17. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 2000. "Trends in Self-Employment among White and Black Men during the Twentieth Century," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 643-669.
  18. Schultz, Theodore W, 1973. "The Value of Children: An Economic Perspective," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S2-13, Part II, .
  19. Appelbaum, Elie & Katz, Eliakim, 1991. "The Demand for Children in the Absence of Capital and Risk Markets: A Portfolio Approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 292-304, April.
  20. Stanley Friedlander & Morris Silver, 1967. "A quantitative study of the determinants of fertility behavior," Demography, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 30-70, March.
  21. Arnott, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1991. "Moral Hazard and Nonmarket Institutions: Dysfunctional Crowding Out or Peer Monitoring?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 179-90, March.
  22. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-46, June.
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