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The Impact of Children on Female Earnings in Britain

  • Tarja K. Viitanen

This paper examines the impact of children on female wages in the UK using the National Child Development Study. Empirically this involves using an extension of the Roy model, which simultaneously corrects for the endogeneity of labour force participation and fertility. The wage differential between women without children and women with children is estimated to range between 19% and 22% not accounting for endogeneity. This result confirms the findings of many previous studies, however, the results indicate substantial non-random selection into employment for women hence leading to biased OLS estimates. The wage differential reduces to 16%-18% instrumenting participation and fertility, however, using the estimates obtained from the double-selection model, the wage differential between mothers and childless women reduces to just 10%-13%.

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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 415.

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Length: 22, 5 p.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp415
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  1. Albrecht, J.W. & Edin, P.A. & Vroman, S.B., 1995. "A Cross-Country Comparison of Attitudes Towards Mothers Working and their Actual Labor Market Experience," Papers 1995-28, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  2. Sprague, Alison, 1988. "Post-war Fertility and Female Labour Force Participation Rates," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 682-700, September.
  3. Stephen Cameron & Christopher Taber, 2000. "Borrowing Constraints and the Returns to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 7761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences Of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons From Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317, February.
  5. Lawrence F. Katz & Claudia Goldin, 2000. "Career and Marriage in the Age of the Pill," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 461-465, May.
  6. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1992. "Marriage, Motherhood, and Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 233-255.
  7. James J. Heckman & Robert J. Willis, 1975. "A Beta-Logistic Model for the Analysis of Sequential Labor Force Participation by Married Women," NBER Working Papers 0112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
  9. Gupta, N.D. & Smith, N., 2000. "Children and Career Interruptions: the Family Gap in Denmark," Papers 00-03, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
  10. Blundell, Richard & Walker, Ian, 1986. "A Life-Cycle Consistent Empirical Model of Family Labour Supply Using Cross-Section Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 539-58, August.
  11. Joshi, Heather & Paci, Pierella & Waldfogel, Jane, 1999. "The Wages of Motherhood: Better or Worse?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(5), pages 543-64, September.
  12. Browning, Martin, 1992. "Children and Household Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1434-75, September.
  13. Fishe, Raymond P. H. & Trost, R. P. & Lurie, Philip M., 1981. "Labor force earnings and college choice of young women: An examination of selectivity bias and comparative advantage," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 169-191, April.
  14. Kathryn Shaw, 1994. "The Persistence of Female Labor Supply: Empirical Evidence and Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 348-378.
  15. Waldfogel, Jane, 1995. "The Price of Motherhood: Family Status and Women's Pay in a Young British Cohort," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(4), pages 584-610, October.
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