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Parenthood and productivity of highly skilled labor: evidence from the groves of academe

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  • Matthias Krapf
  • Heinrich W. Ursprung
  • Christian Zimmermann

Abstract

We examine the effect of pregnancy and parenthood on the research productivity of academic economists. Combining the survey responses of nearly 10,000 economists with their publication records as documented in their RePEc accounts, we do not find that motherhood is associated with low research productivity. Nor do we find a statistically significant unconditional effect of a first child on research productivity. Conditional difference-in-differences estimates, however, suggest that the effect of parenthood on research productivity is negative for unmarried women and positive for untenured men. Moreover, becoming a mother before 30 years of age appears to have a detrimental effect on research productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Krapf & Heinrich W. Ursprung & Christian Zimmermann, 2014. "Parenthood and productivity of highly skilled labor: evidence from the groves of academe," Working Papers 2014-1, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2014-001
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; research productivity; gender gap;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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