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The Effect of Children on Earnings Using Exogenous Variation in Family Size: Swedish Evidence

  • Hirvonen, Lalaina

    ()

    (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)

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    This paper takes advantage of an exogeneous variation in the sex composition of previous children, to study the effect of an additional child on women’s earnings. I use OLS and IV as well as quantile regression to analyze the impact of an increase in family size on labour force participation and level of earnings from 1980-2005 Swedish register data. The IV technique produces estimates that are not systematically different from those from OLS, at the expense of a low precision. Including men in the analysis shows that fathers’ labour force outcomes are less likely to be affected by an increase in family size compared to mothers. My findings indicate that having an additional child has a stronger negative impact on earnings than on labour force participation. However, there is evidence of catching-up effect over time, as women tend to recover gradually from the negative earnings effect. Using different time perspective, the results remain stable with respect to the rapid expansion of the Swedish family policies. The quantile regression approach suggests that other mechanisms than childbearing lie behind the large wage gap at the top of the wage distribution, often referred to, in Sweden, as the glass ceiling pattern.

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    Paper provided by Swedish Institute for Social Research in its series Working Paper Series with number 2/2009.

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    Length: 46 pages
    Date of creation: 05 Mar 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:sofiwp:2009_002
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    1. Ben-Porath, Yoram & Welch, Finis, 1976. "Do Sex Preferences Really Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 285-307, May.
    2. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S76-S108, Part II, .
    3. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Pierre‐Carl Michaud & Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2011. "Fertility and female employment dynamics in Europe: the effect of using alternative econometric modeling assumptions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 641-668, 06.
    5. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    6. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
    7. Alberto Abadie & Joshua Angrist & Guido Imbens, 1999. "Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Effect of Subsidized Training on the Quantiles of Trainee Earnings," Working papers 99-16, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    8. Eric Maurin & Julie Moschion, 2006. "The social multiplier and labour market participation of mothers," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00117042, HAL.
    9. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Albrecht, James W. & Edin, Per-Anders & Sundström, Marianne & Vroman, Susan B., 1996. "Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earnings: A Reexamination Using Swedish Data," Working Paper Series 1996:23, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    11. Daouli, Joan & Demoussis, Michael & Giannakopoulos, Nicholas, 2009. "Sibling-sex composition and its effects on fertility and labor supply of Greek mothers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 189-191, March.
    12. Hyunbae Chun & Jeungil Oh, 2002. "An instrumental variable estimate of the effect of fertility on the labour force participation of married women," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(10), pages 631-634.
    13. Christopher F Baum & Mark E Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "IVREG2: Stata module for extended instrumental variables/2SLS and GMM estimation," Statistical Software Components S425401, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 09 Feb 2015.
    14. repec:ese:iserwp:2001-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Rodolfo Bulatao, 1981. "Values and disvalues of children in successive childbearing decisions," Demography, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 1-25, February.
    16. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
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