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Life-Cyle Fertility Behavior and Human Capital Accumulation

  • George-Levi Gayle
  • Robert Miller

This paper develops and implements a semiparametric estimator for investigating, with panel data, the importance of human capital accumulation, non-separable preferences of females and child care costs on females life-cycle fertility and labor supply behaviors. It presents a model in which the agents' expectations are correlated with their future choices and provides a set of conditions under which statistical inferences are possible from a short panel. Under the assumption that observed allocations are Pareto optimal, a dynamic model of female labor supply, labor force participation and fertility decision is estimated. In that model, experience on the job raises future wages, time spent nurturing children affects utility, while time spent off the job in the past directly affects current utility(or, indirectly through productivity in the non-market sector). This paper then uses the estimates from the model to conduct different policy simulations which shows that human capital accumulation is the most important determinant of life-cycle fertility behavior.

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Paper provided by Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business in its series GSIA Working Papers with number 2004-E16.

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Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:1764912820
Contact details of provider: Postal: Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
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